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Old 03-05-2010, 05:36 AM   #51
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Re: What's the big deal

I don't believe thumbsucking has a lot to do with teeth and braces. I firmly believe that's more genetic than anything.

I sucked my thumb until I was 13. I have perfect teeth and never needed braces.

As for being teased - I learned that I didn't like doing it in certain circumstances because of that. SO I didn't. I did it around friends I was comfortable with and who wouldn't tease me (or bother me if they did because it was friendly jest). And I did it alone at night.

I've tried to give both my kids a paci and neither one would take it. I was happy my DD found a way to soothe herself. I'm still hoping DS will learn because right now I'm his pacifier - which I wouldn't even mind so much if I didn't also have a 2 yr old to run after!

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Old 03-05-2010, 05:42 AM   #52
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Re: What's the big deal

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Originally Posted by amglenn2621 View Post
Both my sister and my husband sucked their thumbs until they were around 12 and it can cause some serious problems for kids socially. You just cannot break a thumb/finger sucker until they are ready to give it up, you can't take it away. Plus it seems that the more you try to "make" them stop the more they cling to it. I am concerned about my daughter because she sucks her fingers and at 6 shows no signs of stopping. I just don't want to see her treated badly by other kids because of it.
Well this makes sense if you think about it. It's a comfort/soothing thing. Trying to put someone on guard for something that comes so naturally and tell them to stop is extremely stressful. When someone is stressed they find a way to self soothe... and thus the viscious circle.

As for other kids. Teach her confidence. Teach her not to let other kids treat her badly for it. If something comes up and a kid does tease her you talk to her. You explain her choices.... she can give up the thumb to avoid ridicule, or she can let it roll of her back and ignore it. The choice is then hers.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:59 AM   #53
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Re: What's the big deal

I hate the look of pacis, so I'd rather my DS thumbsucked. Of course he pacifies himself on me, so my problem is going to be weaning

I sucked my thumb till 12, I believe. I lost friends because of it when I was 8 (girls can be mean), and eventually stopped doing it during school at 10. My parents tried everything. They tried forcing me to wear a retainer, bandaids, horseradish (which I love ). I actually stopped because I slit my thumb lengthwise while I was trying to pop a tab off of a soda can. Didn't stop bleeding for 2 days.

I did have to get braces; I used to be able to fit a cheez-it in my mouth while my teeth were clenched. I had them for 2 years, but I likely would have had to have them anyway because both of my parents had them.

On the plus side, it's given me the confidence that I can quit any habit; so when I took up smoking at 18, I was pretty easily able to quit at 21.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:27 PM   #54
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Re: What's the big deal

Eh, I'm another in the "who cares" camp. I sucked my thumb until I was about 12, and then quit on my own. By that point I hadn't sucked it in public for years and years--as far as I know, I quit "public" thumb sucking by the time I started pre-k, and learned how to save it for home. I never had social issues stemming from being a thumb sucker--all my social problems were due to my being shy, introverted, bookish, and wearing glasses from 2nd grade on. I also never had to have any sort of orthodontics (I have a slight overbite, but nothing worth treating with thousands of dollars of wires in my mouth). I also learned very quickly that my thumb tasted nasty when it was dirty, and was very diligent about washing my hands as a kid, so I'd say there the habit probably did me a favor! My parents did try sometimes to get my to stop, but it never really took until I was ready to quit.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:54 PM   #55
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Re: What's the big deal

Okay, not trying to be snarky, but this needs to be pointed out...

For those of you who are very anti-thumbsucking, how exactly do you intend to get a child to stop who has been sucking the thumb since they were in the womb. This is/was my DD and will probably be my DS as the clearest pics on both of their ultrasounds are with them having their thumbs in their mouths. I offered my DD a paci, in fact I offered her every brand ever made. She refused and still refuses. So how was a supposed to make her not suck her thumb. Putting bad tasting stuff on a 5 week olds fingers to keep them from sucking them seems cruel and unnecessary. That being said, my DD has always been a wonderful self-soother. When she is terribly upset, in goes the thumb and she calms right down. I never dealt with hours upon hours of crying. I attribute some of that to thumbsucking.

As far as the germy thing goes. I think that is being a little obsessive. I have a hard time keeping my toddler from putting rocks, sticks, and dog water in her mouth. Nothing has killed her yet, and she is rarely sick.

Would I have rather had a paci sucking child...of course. You can take a paci away, however, there is little I can do about my 22 month olds thumbsucking that started inuetero, so I will love her the way she is!
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