How to Help Your Child With a Thumb Sucking Habit
Any kids dentist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa will tell you that thumb sucking is a problematic habit for a child because it can cause severe damage to their dental health and make their teeth crooked. Thankfully, you can gently help your child get over this behavior in a way that not only makes them happier but which will improve their overall oral health in many ways.
Know Their Triggers
Although many children temporarily suck their thumb when they are very young, more extended thumb-sucking behaviors are often a result of a variety of situations. For example, your child may suffer from stress and use their thumb as a way to vent. Others may like the way that the thumb feels in their mouth and use it as a self-soothing method. The reasons vary, but all children with this issue have triggers that will often cause them to fall into this pattern of behavior.
For example, you may notice that your child starts to suck their thumb whenever you put on a football game. This behavior may occur because they are worried about how you yell at the television or they find the sport boring. Or they may start sucking their thumb when they figure out that somebody is coming over whom they don’t like very much. Whatever the reasons, you need to identify these triggers and find a way to manage them in your child’s life.
Before you start, though, talk to your kids dentist about these triggers to get a better understanding of how to adjust them. Though a dentist is not a child’s psychologist, they do deal with this problem quite often and have a surprisingly powerful way of managing it. They can come up with a treatment method that may work for your child and which can adjust their behavior. Just a few of these options are outlined below to give you an idea of what to do in this scenario.