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How a Pediatric Dentist in Jacksonville, FL, Can Help Your Child Quit Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is a natural habit that many children have early in their lives. Some even begin in the womb. It’s a reflex that generally provides a feeling of contentment and security. Over time the habit will lessen and eventually disappear. In most children, this happens between the ages of two and four. However, some children suck their thumb into the school years, which can cause a problem when adult teeth start to erupt. “Buck teeth” is one example.

A pediatric dentist in Jacksonville, FL, as you find at Weaver & Stratton Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, can provide tips to help your son or daughter kick the habit. We’ll share them here.

The first thing to keep in mind is that this is natural, and there’s no need to take drastic steps. In short, keep calm. Your best bet is to reinforce the positive rather than focus on the negative. Praise your child when they don’t suck their thumb, instead of making an issue of when they do.

Your pediatric dentist will also tell you that you can help break the habit by putting a Band-Aid or sock on their thumb at night as a reminder not to suck. Make sure to let them know it’s not a punishment but a reminder.

Creating a diversion when your child sucks their thumb can help eliminate the habit, as will teaching coping skills if you find they suck when they are anxious or stressed. Rewarding your child when they resist the impulse is also a positive way to help them overcome thumb sucking.