View Poll Results: When do you recommend putting a lid on the thumb?
Don't let your kid thumbsuck ever 6 16.22%
Step in before the 1st birthday 4 10.81%
Sometime between the 1st and 2nd birthday 5 13.51%
Between the 2nd and 3rd birthday 9 24.32%
Between the 3rd and 4th birthday 5 13.51%
After the 4th birthday 8 21.62%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-28-2013, 08:15 AM   #1
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When to intervene with thumbsucking?

What age do you think is ideal to step in and remove the thumb?

I know several people who say their kids stopped on their own, but my husband and I were both committed thumbsuckers as children... As in we both sucked our respective thumbs until middle school. It has been hilarious to note the apparent genetic influence on this behavior: babe refused pacifiers and found his thumb as soon as he could, as kids I sucked my right thumb, hubby sucked his left thumb, our baby sucks both equally. It's been a fun science experiment. But I would really like to step in before things get bad.

I'm sort of thinking I should do it before he's 2 to minimize the chances he will remember... is that cruel? Should I wait longer?

How would you do it? I definitely don't want to take the "that's for babies" route, I remember being 4 and told I was too big for my thumb and I wanted to punch the person who told me that. Hearing that thumbs were for babies just made me resentful and secretive, so I don't want to do that at all.

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Old 03-28-2013, 08:30 AM   #2
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Re: When to intervene with thumbsucking?

So I don't have a thumb sucker, but I was an avid thumb sucker when I was young. You probably are not going to like this. My mom did EVERYTHING to get me to stop sucking my thumb and to this day tells people that I sucked my thumb until I was four. I sucked my thumb until I was in 5th grade....I was just smarter about it.

She did get me to stop doing it in public which was a plus! I think the earlier the better though. Maybe start discussing it now and prepare him. Say that at two big boys aren't allowed to suck their thumb anymore. Something like that? He might do it at night still but you might get him to stop doing it 24/7.

Oh and the old saying that they won't go to college sucking their thumb is 100% false. I knew two totally normal girls in college that sucked their thumb and had a blanket at night. Needless to say that they didnt get many dates .
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:35 AM   #3
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I have no idea how to get him to stop. I was also a thumb sucker, and most of the time it was completely unconscious, which was why it was so hard to quit. Even now at age 32 I still have the instinct to suck my thumb, but I don't.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:39 AM   #4
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I have a 5 year old thumb sucker. Her dentist said that if she doesn't stop before her permanent teeth come in they will intervene. We have good dental coverage and I fully expect braces to be in our future. I really haven't pushed it at all other than to reiterate what the dentist said (he told her this last visit). It brings her comfort and i don't see why i would take that from her any sooner than necessary.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:50 AM   #5
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Re: When to intervene with thumbsucking?

My dd is 5 1/2 and still sucks hers. We have been seeing an orthodontist because she has obviously done some pretty major damage to her mouth with her vigorous sucking. This summer she will be getting an appliance in her mouth to help her stop, it breaks my heart to do it.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:27 AM   #6
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Re: When to intervene with thumbsucking?

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Originally Posted by s@hmommy View Post
This summer she will be getting an appliance in her mouth to help her stop, it breaks my heart to do it.

I sucked my thumb until college. I had a thumb stop appliance in my mouth and still managed to suck my thumb
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s@hmommy
My dd is 5 1/2 and still sucks hers. We have been seeing an orthodontist because she has obviously done some pretty major damage to her mouth with her vigorous sucking. This summer she will be getting an appliance in her mouth to help her stop, it breaks my heart to do it.
I had this done to me at 8 and I still remember it. I cried hysterically for weeks, refused to eat, wouldn't speak to my mother... It was bad. My mom eventually took me back to the dentist and said that it wasn't worth having straight teeth if I was so distraught all the time.


I really hope your daughter can stop on her own before getting the appliance, or at least that she reacts well to it.

These memories are part of why I want to step in before he is 2. I don't want him to remember sobbing for hours over something that brings him soo much comfort and joy. And at 8 I knew full we'll that my mom and dentist had conspired to do this to me, that they physically screwed something into my mouth to take away something I loved.

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Old 03-28-2013, 10:43 AM   #8
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Re: When to intervene with thumbsucking?

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Originally Posted by jenn.mcc View Post
I had this done to me at 8 and I still remember it. I cried hysterically for weeks, refused to eat, wouldn't speak to my mother... It was bad. My mom eventually took me back to the dentist and said that it wasn't worth having straight teeth if I was so distraught all the time.


I really hope your daughter can stop on her own before getting the appliance, or at least that she reacts well to it.

These memories are part of why I want to step in before he is 2. I don't want him to remember sobbing for hours over something that brings him soo much comfort and joy. And at 8 I knew full we'll that my mom and dentist had conspired to do this to me, that they physically screwed something into my mouth to take away something I loved.
Hers isn't about straight teeth any more, she is doing damage that is affecting her speech. The dr told me what it is called and I can't remember. He is also very conservative though, he has said we were putting it in the last two times we have gone in to see him in the last 1 1/2 years. I agree though, I hope she stops before hand, I don't want to deal with it.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:42 AM   #9
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Re: When to intervene with thumbsucking?

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Originally Posted by s@hmommy View Post
Hers isn't about straight teeth any more, she is doing damage that is affecting her speech. The dr told me what it is called and I can't remember. He is also very conservative though, he has said we were putting it in the last two times we have gone in to see him in the last 1 1/2 years. I agree though, I hope she stops before hand, I don't want to deal with it.


Your post just provided me with a revelation: I was in speech therapy for 10 years. I was a thumb addict, and from 3 to 13 my speech was basically unintelligible. Honest to god this is the very first time I considered the possibility that it was due to thumb sucking. Wow.

You know, I've often wondered if archeologists have seen signs of ancient cultures that promoted thumb sucking into adulthood? It's such a wonderful, soothing thing, I like to imagine a whole society of cave dwellers that could be off warring with clubs and sticks, but they find it so much nicer to lay in the sun and suck a thumb.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:34 AM   #10
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Re: When to intervene with thumbsucking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s@hmommy View Post
Hers isn't about straight teeth any more, she is doing damage that is affecting her speech. The dr told me what it is called and I can't remember. He is also very conservative though, he has said we were putting it in the last two times we have gone in to see him in the last 1 1/2 years. I agree though, I hope she stops before hand, I don't want to deal with it.

My daughter had a pacifier way too long. It caused her to use her tongue in a way that continued to push her front teeth and jaw out farther and farther,,, long after she gave up the pacifier. She had this cute little lisp that by 1st grade wasn't so cute anymore. The dentist said "It's not a lisp, it's tongue thrusting".

In fifth grade, kids were teasing her about her front teeth. I noticed it in a picture during summer vacation.

We went in for her braces. They had to use a spreader at the top of her mouth, pistons on both lower jaws, and then the regular braces. She was in lots of pain, and she had to give up her instrument for the year. (switched to drums for a year until her spreader and pistons were removed)

She still would have needed braces if i'd taken the pacifier away, but not likely the other things. Definitely not the pistons for her lower jaw. That was caused by the tongue thrusting that was caused by excessive pacifier use.

I see a lot of problems now with excessive sippy cup use too. (other kids) but, I don't see as many with thumb sucking as I do with the pacifier.
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