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Thumb sucking

(18 Posts)
Fandan Thu 04-Dec-14 18:11:13

My DD will be 2 in January and she likes to suck her thumb. I tried her with various dummies when she was younger to no avail, so gave in and let her use her thumb. Her DB had a dummy that we took off him around 18mo, obviously I can't remove her thumb just as easily.

Anyone have any tips? Or should I wait till she's a wee bit older? I don't really want her still relying on it when she's 3.

notmuchofaclue Thu 04-Dec-14 20:21:57

My dd is an avid thumb sucker, has been since 6 months and at 2.5 is showing no signs of giving up. I honestly don't think there's anything you can do to stop them until they're old enough to want to (or when they start to care about peer pressure). I've tried pulling it out of her mouth numerous times, makes no difference at all. And given how stubborn she is, the more I try to stop her doing something the more she'll want to do it. I do worry a lot about what it's doing to her teeth but I'll just have to deal with that another day I think.

rootypigsinblankets Thu 04-Dec-14 20:26:06

I sucked my thumb until I was fourteen. At least. I had several rounds of orthodontics but ultimately it hasn't caused me any real harm.

If you can't get her to stop (and it's basically impossible I think, if they don't want to!), don't stress, but do get an orthodontics referral early - as early as 7 or 8. She may need an expander, and an expander will stop her sucking her thumb. Ime British dentists / orthodontists are rather behind the curve on this, so do some reading up.

NellyTheElephant Thu 04-Dec-14 20:51:31

I would just wait it out. They will tend to stop during the day once they are a bit older (at nursery / school etc). My 3 are now 9, 7 and 5 - all AVID thumb suckers. 9 yr old and 7 yr old both stopped 5 - 6 ish. 5 yr old still sucks when tired and in bed, but not really during day. I'd say not to worry too much - maybe when grown up teeth start coming through think about doing something (although both my DDs stopped before that and DS hasn't had a wobbly tooth yet).

Fandan Thu 04-Dec-14 21:29:52

I had her DB at the dentist the other day and he said to get her to stop. Easier said than done, I mean I can't physically stop her. And I can't yet reason with her about it.

I do worry about her teeth and I also read about it affecting her jawline??
Also, you can't go anywhere without someone commenting on her thumb sucking and how they know someone who sucked their thumb till they were 10 etc!

rootypigsinblankets Fri 05-Dec-14 22:23:57

What it might do is bring her bite out of alignment, giving her a case of TMJ. Nothing that can't be corrected by a good orthodontist - but as I say, the UK is behind on this, so be proactive. The expander is your friend. The earlier you can get it the more correctable the problem, and as I say, it will force her to stop sucking (it's a bar across the top palate).

foxybingodotcom Fri 05-Dec-14 22:33:20

I'm 32 and still suck my thumb, the shame! blush

My mum and dad tried everything, all of the time. Making it a huge issue that dominated my childhood. I'm not sure what you can do that is likely to be successful.

I did stop when I had my plate in ^^ but somehow restarted...

rootypigsinblankets Sat 06-Dec-14 07:06:12


OP if you do go the ortho route, and your child stops because of the device in her mouth, you must then become the retainer police, to prevent relapse, of both teeth, and habits! smile

INeedSomeHelp Sat 06-Dec-14 07:17:03

I used to suck my thumb when I was little and it did affect my teeth. I ended up having a fixed brace along the top and bottom for about two years. It was when I'd just started secondary school and I hated it.
One thing my mum tried was the stuff you paint on to stop nail biting. It tastes horrible so might be enough to put them off.

AdorableAbbie Sat 06-Dec-14 07:58:39

Before when I gave birth of my Daughter, she always suck her thumb until she was 5 months old, then I gave her pacifier but she refused to suck so I let her suck her thumb until she didn't suck her thumb anymore.

Linus33 Sat 06-Dec-14 08:04:41

My DS1 aged 12 nearly 13 and DS2 aged 10 are both thumb suckers. I've tried absolutely everything to encourage them to stop from bribery to punishment (blush) but nothing has worked and I've come to the conclusion that nothing will work unless they want to stop.

DS1 is developing goofy top teeth but the dentist won't deal with it until he stops sucking his teeth but by the sounds of it that could be quite some time!!

cantmakecarrotcake Sat 06-Dec-14 11:03:05

DD is 3 and sucks her thumb. We're slowly working on reducing how much she sucks it during the day but it's tough going. I doubt we'll tackle it too seriously until she's settled into school. She knows that when she's bigger it'll be time to stop but I don't think it's possible at 3.

rootypigsinblankets Sat 06-Dec-14 18:49:04

Linus that is wrong - you need to push for an orthodontic referral.

GertrudePerkins Sat 06-Dec-14 18:52:52

my 4yo still sucks her fingers. Her dentist can tell, but advised that as long as she stops before she gets her adult teeth then these should be unaffected

bigTillyMint Sat 06-Dec-14 18:55:35

My DD is 15 (years not months!) and still sucks her thumb.
With no discernible damage done to her teeth, etc, thankfully.

My friends DD also sucked her thumb at 15. A tongue piercing put paid to thatgrin

Fandan Sat 06-Dec-14 23:30:52

Ah well, looks like I'm best leaving her be for the time being.

She's got a wee callus type thing on her thumb. Best way to deal with these?

SomethingFunny Sat 06-Dec-14 23:44:21

I sucked my fingers upside down as a child. I can't remember my parents ever making an issue about it or trying to make me stop. I stopped naturally around age 6 ish. I also have no teeth problems.

There is research that shows that thumb sucking does no damage before adult teeth come in (around age 6) which is when children naturally stop sucking anyway.

My son is 4 and still sucks his thumb. He does it much less than he used to, and only when tired (or ill). It is his comfort and I am not going to try and force that away from him unless his adult teeth are starting to come through, but I think he'll give up by himself anyway. He sees the dentist every 6 months and his teeth are fine (the dentist hasnt seen him sucking his thumb and obviously cannot tell that he does).

IMO the expander mentioned about sounds cruel for a young child. Not sure if Pigs was mentioning it for an older age though.

rootypigsinblankets Sun 07-Dec-14 00:42:11

Expander is part of orthodontic treatment, not designed to stop thumb sucking - it just happens to have that effect because the device runs across the top palate. Not more cruel than any other form of orthodontics! Though of course you're welcome to your opinion on that smile.

It is used according to orthodontic need - not every thumb sucking child will need one, though they are more likely to, and many non thumb sucking children have them.

As I say I would leave it for now OP, and if she is still sucking at 7, get an orthodontics referral.

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