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Thumb/finger sucking addiction

(14 Posts)
HalfStar Wed 25-Jan-17 12:56:42

Just wondering if anyone has any ideas because we're all out.
5 year old is completely addicted to finger sucking. It is affecting teeth and finger! We have tried reward systems/charts (can work for up to 2 weeks max but then she starts again worse than ever), using the varnish that makes it taste bad (sucks it off), using plasters to limit the damage.

Plasters, while clearly a stop-gap solution, are the only think that work a bit. She does take them off but not immediately.

She is better when out and about/outside etc and going to try to do this a bit more in the afternoons, but it can be difficult when she's tired after school.

Did anyone ever find any approaches that worked or should we just start saving for braces now? confused

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Wed 25-Jan-17 23:40:35

We terrified DD by showing her images online of what it does to your teeth (perhaps interspersed with some rotting ones)

She was very upset but she did stop. It's not nice but it did work!

HalfStar Thu 26-Jan-17 09:11:14

Oh wow! Thanks for the reply. How old was your DD when you did this? I am happy to give it a try.

User1234567891011 Thu 26-Jan-17 09:20:33

I'm in my twenties and still stuck my thumb blush

I can't help it - it is an addiction. I had to have braces for years to fix the damage it caused. My parents never gave me a dummy apparently and that's what made me fix on my thumb. They tried:

-Special nail varnish.
-Taking it out of my mouth every time.
-Hot Sauce.

I still do it now despite having the awful teeth and trying to remind myself how many germs might be on my thumb. I think its a comfort/help me to sleep thing. I don't do it in public but in private (although I did it around the house until I was about 14) and sometimes I don't even realise I'm doing it. Weird.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Thu 26-Jan-17 16:21:11

My DD was 6 when we did this! Luckily she had not been a thumb sucker from birth- she was copying a friend so we managed to put a stop to it.

Samatamfabahaba Thu 26-Jan-17 16:25:12

I'm 3, and if my ear is cold I will still suck my thumb. It's an addiction and a comfort thing and there's not much you can do to stop it. My dad tried everything. I had braces, and operations when I was older cos I just wouldn't listen and carried on sucking my thumb. I'm pregnant now and terrified my baby will suck it's thumb!! I know none of this helps, sorry! My teeth aren't that bad, and I love my little stubby thumbs (not)!!

TreeLemons Thu 26-Jan-17 17:06:52

I have had 2 thumbsuckers. My 9 year old stopped on her own, probably about 2 years ago, but my 7 year old still does it and I am hoping she'll stop before it starts affecting her teeth. It seems to help when they are aware of it and also when they start getting embarrassed in public, so I do remind her sometimes. A friend had success with something like this for her DS.

Watto1 Thu 26-Jan-17 17:10:47

We have had success with Thumbguard. Can't link but have a Google! They do a version for finger suckers too. DD is 8 and I think we've finally cracked it! She had to wear it for twice as long as they recommend though.

Watto1 Thu 26-Jan-17 17:13:12

We had previously tried a Thumbsie but it was useless as it's only held on with Velcro. DD just took it off when she fancied a suck!

Branleuse Thu 26-Jan-17 17:18:38

my 8 year old does it and its affected her teeth quite a lot. Tried everything.

GreenShadow Thu 26-Jan-17 17:19:31

DS1 was a dreadful thumb sucker.

I still can't believe we managed to wean him off it it, but like Troll, it was shock tactics that did it.
We were in the car and listening to the radio when a dentist came on and talked about the damage to teeth, including from thumb sucking. Luckily DS was old enough (also about 5 I think) for it to sink in and to be able to take matters into this own thumbs hands. What ever I had said before had no impact on him, but this dentist obviously did.

BinkyBuntyFintyCunty Thu 26-Jan-17 17:30:31

There's a Simpsons episode which shows the damage that Maggie's dummy did to her teeth eventually. It 'scared' my DD into stopping! (I still suck mine in my 40s to get me to sleep smile)

hp2 Thu 26-Jan-17 17:33:20

I tried everything with my now 9year old. Nicely nicey approch ,bribery, shouting the works. In the end I showed her pictures of deformed mouths and block braces. She hasn't sucked her thumb since. Cruel to be kind

HalfStar Thu 26-Jan-17 17:35:41

thank you all very much for your responses. It really is an addiction and sometimes I worry that it holds her back a bit..Not sure how much she does it at school. I should have said that I did this too as a kid but was bribed to stop. Dd is seemingly unbribable on this front.

I don't think there is an available guard for her digit of choice sad have looked before. I have a rule now that the tv goes off if she's sucking as that is a huge issue. It works to a certain extent except when i am busy doing other things and she can sneak it.

Will try the shock images. It may not work this year, maybe more effective when a bit older and peer pressure etc. I could make my peace in a way with the teeth issue but I do find it very trying, her dad even more so.

To the poster who is pregnant: give a dummy! I implore you!

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