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Old 10-09-2006, 04:33 PM   #11
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Re: 5 year olds thumb sucking making me crazy what to do

For those that say it will not hurt their teeth I hope you are right because I have a 4 yr old dd who sucks her thumb and her teeth are awful!!! I am praying that her adult teeth will not look like her baby teeth do. She has been to the dentist and they directly attribute what her teeth look like to her sucking her thumb. I have 3 boys who have never sucked their thumbs and all of there teeth are perfect!


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Old 10-09-2006, 04:54 PM   #12
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Re: 5 year olds thumb sucking making me crazy what to do

Originally Posted by naturegirl7 View Post
A former thumb sucker here too - I stopped on my own around 10ish. There was no real permanent damage to my teeth either. While I sucked them, my bite was misaligned and my top teeth did angle a bit - but after I stopped, they shifted themselves back and are FINE. My cousin is 25 and STILL sucks her thumb - she has beautiful, perfect teeth (and a hubby who adores her and too many friends to count - dispelling the myth that she won't be liked for thumbsucking).

You have to remember WHY kids thumb suck. Thumb sucking is a means of self soothing. You remove their ability to thumb suck, and you remove their ability to comfort themselves. As they get older, they will be able to better self sooth and not need the comfort of thumbsucking. Same goes for binkies, blankies, loveys.

Forcing kids to stop, taking away the blankies and loveys - it is not the healthy way to go about putting a stop to the behavior. Neither is teasing them about it. Or constantly saying "get your thumb out of your mouth" - it gets really annoying and makes you feel really bad about yourself. It is only effective in making kids ashamed of something wonderful and natural and soothing. ANd it is also pretty harsh and damaging to their self esteems - especially considering that these are sensitive kids who are already having some trouble selfsoothing.

As kids get older, you can discuss why they suck their thumbs and create some boundaries.
My neice is 9 - she is allowed to suck her thumb for comfort - but not boredom. Bedtime, if she is scared, upset - then she is not redirected. But if she is sitting watching TV, then my SIL will gently redirect her. Providing activities such as painting, coloring, building blocks - stuff that keeps her hands busy and out of her mouth - are great ways to combat boredom sucking without her even realizing it.

At 5, your daughter should not be made to stop, IMO. It will not hurt her teeth at this point. Especially since she is starting school and making a big transition, she will probably really need that comfort and security. She will quit as she gets older and is ready to do so.

I used to hide in my room where nobody would bother me while I sucked my thumb. I was very ashamed. I wanted them to leave me alone about it. I didn't feel comfortable watching a movie with my family or anything because I would just feel like at any minute they were going to say something or my brother was going to put me down for it.

I have had no problems with crooked teeth or anything. My parents had gotten something from the orthodontist it was put under the roof of my mouth, so that my thumb couldn't fit nicely in there. Sucking my thumb wasn't easy with it on there but I learned a way around it anyway.
Marelle lovin' wife to Mike with 2 kids. Kaden 1/1/06, Jagger 4/21/12 and our last one Finn 8/16/13
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