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Thumb sucking prevention Fairhope, AL Dentist

Who gets thumb sucking?

In some babies, the need to suck is more pronounced than in others. Children at any age tend to exhibit the sucking behavior most when they are tired, bored, or in need of comfort.

What are the causes of thumb sucking?

An infant's desire to suck on the breast or bottle is a drive that is essential for survival. More than 80 percent of babies also do some extra sucking when they are not hungry (nonnutritive sucking). With ultrasound many fetuses can be seen sucking in the uterus. Thumbsucking also appears to help a child comfort herself and often increases when breast or bottle feedings decrease. It does not mean that a child is insecure or has emotional problems.

How to stop children (and adults) from sucking their thumbs?

There are several ways to break the habit. The first step, however, is to recognize that it is a nervous habit. Thumb sucking at advanced ages is a stress reliever. So any attempt to break the habit should take this into consideration.

The popular "bad taste" solutions can be used. Also one of technique that can be helpful is a simple discussion on how it's a bad habit and needs to be broken, followed by verbal and physical reminders (like a band-aid or a mitten). 

You can also replace the thumb with a pacifier or other toy. While this doesn't totally relieve the problem, an "outside" device to suck on is easier to give up -- similar to using nicotine gum to stop smoking. And as any adult who has successfully done such, the "replacement" method has merits.

For more questions about thumb sucking prevention please call/text your Sweet Water Dentistry at 251-550-7770. Do not hesistate to schedule a consult on you, or your childs teeth. At SweetWater Dentistry we are always here to help! 

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