Can I stop a two year old sucking his thumb?

(12 Posts)
leaflless Wed 20-Mar-13 13:43:42

He sucks it when he goes to bed/sleep or when he holds his cuddly toy (which we really only allow upstairs, not during day).

Already I can see his teeth are becoming distorted, a little sticking out. He sucks hard on his thumb...

What can we do at this age? Are we looking at majorly messed up teeth in the near future if we don't do something...?

rumtumtugger Wed 20-Mar-13 13:51:02

Watching this with interest...the dentist said we should be getting dd to stop thumb sucking but all methods I've seen are from age 3-4 and I worry that it'll have caused too much damage by then.

FattyMcChubster Wed 20-Mar-13 13:54:38

My mum tried everything, literally. I still suck my thumb now aged 30.

Mama1980 Wed 20-Mar-13 13:57:28

My mum also tried everything, if I am very tired I still do it its like a reflex-I'm 31. For what its worth my teeth are fine I've never had braces and I only have a slight (2-3mm maybe ) misalignment at the front.

Yoghurty Wed 20-Mar-13 14:07:03

I know this is if no help, but I'm going to tell you the same as the last 2 posters!

32 and still suck my thumb, no dental problems thou, teeth straight and where they should be!

My parents tried everything- painting my thumb with Stop and Grow, wrapping it in plaster tape, bribes, shaming- obviously, none of these things worked and just made me more determined to not stop.

I'd suggest not making it a big deal, but maybe rewarding every time your DC goes to sleep without thumb sucking or using it as comfort?

ThreeWheelsGood Wed 20-Mar-13 22:58:51

2 seems very young, and why stop a child effectively self-soothing? I'm afraid I'm another thumb sucker who had no dental problems! My DH who never sucked his thumb had braces and all sorts... What I mean is it's probably genetic. Maybe ask your dentist? The dentist may say his teeth are fine, or will be easily fixed when older, or the thumb sucking needs to stop and may offer some tips.

thisonehasalittlecar Wed 20-Mar-13 23:06:41

I'm marking my place as am in the exactly the same boat with dd wrt to thumb-sucking and dentist. Older dd and ds never did so I was a bit dismayed when she took it up; I've been wondering about trying to wean her onto a dummy instead that I could then take away eventually but 2 seems a bit old to start on a dummy.

anonymosity Thu 21-Mar-13 05:49:02

I had this with my Ds. He sucked his thumb a lot for ages and then finally only at night. It was always a comfort thing - new surroundings, people etc- it stopped him feeling anxious. He is a bright, but cautious boy.

When he turned 5, I asked him to look at his teeth in the mirror and he did and I showed him the over-bite that was forming.I said we could fix it when he was older but that he needed to stop now, so it didn't get worse. He asked for a thumb guard (lycra thumb glove) and wore it every night. He stopped himself from doing it in the day, by sheer will force prior to this because he didn't want to look like a baby (peer pressure).

He sometimes says he misses it and I have found him in his sleep a few times with his thumb in that position, but the issue is now largely over.

Dentists are crazy if they think you can get them to stop by 3 without causing a huge amount of distress. I just don't see how that can be done unless another direct form of comfort replaces it.

TotallyBursar Thu 21-Mar-13 06:33:50

DH was a thumb sucker - dreadful teeth, years of orthodontic treatment all gone to pot because he didn't stop sucking his thumb. We've worked together to help him stop and it seems permanent but now he has to decide if he wants malformed bite or thousands of pounds of dental work.
It's fine to say my teeth are fine but op's ds is already causing a problem.
As a child I sucked my thumb, never hard and had minimal movement of my teeth, stopped and no issues with them moving back the millimetre of difference but that is quite a different kettle of fish to DH's style of aggressive...vacuum.
His sister (adopted, no shared genes) had to go through the same, but stopped first time. 2 of my cousins have had the same issue.

He is very little but you already managed to have bear upstairs at night time. You could start gently broaching the idea with him about stopping - explaining with a story and working out rewards. It is more difficult to stop sleep sucking but ime that tails off once the habit is stopped when awake.
Does he have a snuggie or anything of his preferred texture? Really silky, soft, fluffy, whatever that can be incorporated into bedtime to keep his hands engaged?
We stopped dd sucking her fingers by combining these things - her hands being busy with something so comforting helped soothe her enough so she could drop off to sleep without needing to finger suck. It was very gentle and gradual but worked, she cooperated but we didn't ever force her and it was real baby steps at times, I think that was the key difference between our approach and the entirely unsuccessful grandparents approach. She barely remembers doing it now and was ready to give up the blanket a couple of years later, thrust it at me one night & told me to give it to teddy.

DeWe Thu 21-Mar-13 09:28:30

I wouldn't worry. If you stop him sucking his thumb, it's like taking away his comforter. He's 2yo, he needs a comforter.

I sucked my thumb and the dentist said when I stopped sucking my thumb then my teeth would naturally re-aline. He was right, they did. I was 14yo when I completely stopped.

DorsetLass Thu 21-Mar-13 09:32:56

My two year old does the same - good friend is a dentist and she told us as long as we try and wean him off it by age 5 his teeth should be ok. Not done that bit yet obviously so not sure how that will go!!

Ds1 used to suck his thumb. We didn't say or do anything and when he was six I noticed he'd stopped. When I asked, he just said he was too old to keep sucking it! 2 is very little so I wouldn't worry just yet, chances are he'll stop when he's ready.

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