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Should I try to stop my daughter sucking her thumb before her new teeth come through?

(19 Posts)
mummyloveslucy Wed 03-Aug-11 19:50:32

Hi, my daughter is 6.5 and is delayed developmentaly by approx 18 months. She has always sucked her thumb when tired or being read too. She scratches her teddie at the same time.

I've never told her not to do this, as I didn't want to make an issue of it. I hoped she'd just grow out of it when she was ready. She's now lost her front teeth, and I'm concerned the new ones might come through crooked if she keeps sucking her thumb.

Does anyone have any tips or adivce about getting her to stop without it turning into a battle of wills.

SoupDragon Wed 03-Aug-11 20:05:49

Yes, you should stop her.

However, this is absolutely impossible without the full cooperation of the child. [bitter experience]

mummyloveslucy Wed 03-Aug-11 20:14:40

Well, I'm not sure that's going to work then. blush She'd never want to stop sucking her thumb.

She's actually still awake now. Laying in bed quietly. She usually goes to sleep at 7pm. She can't sleep tonight because her teddie is at grandmas house. She isn't kicking up a fuss or anything, she just can't sleep without scratching it. confused

mummyloveslucy Wed 03-Aug-11 20:35:11

( her teddie that is!) grin

OveranxiousUnderated Wed 03-Aug-11 21:05:53

My Mum tried so hard to 'stop me' from sucking my thumb...like your daughter I sucked my thumb and scratched (and sniffed) my teddy, and she even used to take him off me and only allow me to have him when I was in bed...

I am now a fully grown adult, with a DD of my own and I still suck my thumb frequently like right now and even take 'Teddy' to bed! blush

My point is, like someone said yes you should probably stop, but it's easier said than done. I also believe that it doesn't always cause teeth problems, it totally varies - my teeth are absolutely fine, I have never needed braces.

So perhaps you should try and discourage it etc, talk to your daughter - but don't worry too much, she's only young and it's not the end of the world.

grin

shouldbeelswhere Wed 03-Aug-11 21:26:15

I sucked my thumb until I was about 11 and I'm the only one in my family who did and the only one who didn't need a brace. My mum tried nail bitters and humiliation to get me to stop but I didn't until it was me who wanted to.

Maybe you could path the way with your DD by talking to her about other children she knows who suck their thumb or if they have stopped now they're going into year 2(?)? when she thinks she might feel ready to stop?

My DS (7) still sucks his thumb, his new front teeth are nice and straight but he does only do it to get off to sleep. Maybe you could limit it or reward times when she doesn't suck it. She'll stop when she's ready and is enjoying the comfort it brings her.

elphabadefiesgravity Wed 03-Aug-11 21:32:58

I tried and tried with dd and so did her teachers at school. The whole class used to chant E..... thumb! at her. Nothing worked and her 2nd teeth came through sticking out.

Eventually I got a thumbguard when she was almost 9 and it took just 2 weeks for her to stop.

SoupDragon Wed 03-Aug-11 23:52:37

The only thing that completely stopped DS1, at the age of 8, was the fact that the very expensive orthodontic braces to correct the damage to his teeth and jaws finally prevented him from being able to get it in.

SoupDragon Wed 03-Aug-11 23:55:36

I sucked my thumb until late infants school/early juniors. I didn't need braces. DSs orthodontist looked at my face and said, with utmost certainty "you were a thumbsucker". It damages more than teeth, they are just the most obvious.

SoupDragon Wed 03-Aug-11 23:56:32

oh, DD started sucking her thumb aged 2. She is now 5, I can see the damage already and I want to cry!

willali Thu 04-Aug-11 08:37:33

It is impossible because the thumb is always there (dummies can go in the bin!). We only succeeded due the the intervention of the orthodontist. <thousands of pounds poorer emoticon>

mummyloveslucy Thu 04-Aug-11 08:49:22

I think I should've let her have a dummy for longer. I was advised to get rid of it when she was 2 months, as she was then able to control her thumbs enough to such her thumb instead. My mum was also dead against dummies, but it's true you can bin dummies, but not thumbs.

bunjies Thu 04-Aug-11 09:42:14

We did this with dd3 as she was developing a significant overbite as a result of the thumb sucking. We started about a year ago by wrapping some sellotape around her thumbs at night time (as this was the time we couldn't actively discourage her). We did also talk to her about it and said we didn't want her new teeth to be damaged (we didn't say stick out). It seemed to strike a chord with her and was actually relatively easy but I think we were lucky in that she was up for it. She's now 6.5 and hasn't sucked her thumb since. I would have a chat with her now and see how it goes.

mummyloveslucy Thu 04-Aug-11 21:12:12

I will talk to her about it and explain how it can dammage her new teeth. She is quite vain consious of her looks, so it might help. wink

I could start by trying to get her to stop during the day. I could give her something else to do that's comforting, then she could just use her thumb for getting off to sleep.

I'll give it a try. smile

Muckyhighchair Thu 04-Aug-11 21:35:36

Please please please try and stop her! Gives you really bad teeth (personal exp)

Currently costing me 5500 to get my teeth fixed, and I had a brace to.

The shame

SoupDragon Fri 05-Aug-11 12:20:50

DSs orthodontist recommended long socks, one on each arm, secured at the top of their arm with something like a Velcro strap. As they are on both arms, it is very very difficult for the child to get them off.

HansieMom Sun 07-Aug-11 19:38:56

Yes I think you should have allowed her to have a pacifier longer than two months. I encouraged it with DS2 as he was preemie and I thought he needed the sucking as it was soothing. Then it got to the stage where the damn pacifiers were rotting off so we ditched them all. That was at 14 months though. We all do what we think is right at the time....... I did get tired of always seeing a pacifier in his mouth.

But anyway, I think she should stop the thumbsucking now. SoupDragon's idea sounds excellent. Maybe have some treats for your DD along the way, like painting her nails, or other 'big girl' things.

crispyseaweed Sun 07-Aug-11 19:45:13

havnt read all of this but i think you can try. She is getting old enough not to be seen sucking her thumb really. My sisters son is now 7yr and other children have commented on his thumb sucking saying he is a baby.
Also not so good for adult teeth, it could cause them to protrude outwards.

mummyloveslucy Sun 07-Aug-11 19:54:23

I got an idea from watching supernanny, and that's to give her a makeup brush to brush across her face and a sponge in the other hand, for when she wants to suck her thumb. Then in time, these can be got rid of. I might give that a try.

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