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Dentist says 3.11 yr old should stop sucking his thumb

(30 Posts)
mojoawol Wed 10-Sep-08 16:55:16

Have just taken DS to see Dentist for 1st time and he said that he really should stop sucking his thumb as it can affect the jaw and lead to possibly braces or (gulp) surgery in later life. I thought all this type of thing was just old wives tales - 'get the thumb/dummy out of their mouths or they'll end up with buck teeth'.
I sucked my thumb until I was about 7 and don't have any issues like this, and I can't imagine trying to get DS to stop, he uses it to calm himself and when he's tired. I had assumed he would stop of his own accord once he got to reception and other kids started taking the pee.
Has anyone had any similar situations? Older kids who used to suck their thumbs (state of their teeth please!), or any tips on getting them to quit - or re-assurance that it's fine!

sarah293 Wed 10-Sep-08 16:57:19

Message withdrawn

DisasterArea Wed 10-Sep-08 16:59:12

our dentist tells DD toevery time - she's 10 and has no intention of ever stopping. her teeth do stick out and has been seen by an orthodontist with a view to braces in the future - orthodontist said she has to stop before braces fitted. DD says she won't and doesn't want braces anyway.
BUT - genetically - her grandmother has the exact shape of mouth and teeth without the thummb.
i'm hoping DD will suddenly start to want nice straight teeth and will stop anyway.

Tinkerisdead Wed 10-Sep-08 16:59:44

both my brother and i sucked our fingers, both of us had the same teeth displacement and had braces on the top and bottom. As we both had same problem i couldnt say whether it was genetic or finger sucking but i later went on to become a dental nurse for my own dentist who insisted that had i not sucked my fingers I wouldnt have had teeth in various rows "like a shark"

hecate Wed 10-Sep-08 17:12:50

I suck my thumb. blush

I have a massive overbite, wobbly teeth (cos of my thumb pushing against them all the time, probably?) and a thumb that I am convinced looks bent a bit and slightly thinner than the other one hmm although I may be imagining that grin

It's also bloody embarrassing because it slips in there when my attention is elsewhere and I suddenly realise I am sucking away. Not too bad in front of the TV in the evening. Slightly less great in the front row at the kids panto blush

pointydog Wed 10-Sep-08 17:23:19

Yes, it would probably be better if he stopped. But I don't think there is any way of stopping them. Dd2 (coming up for 10) is mean to get a brace soon and that may well be the thing that makes her stop. A large brace in the gob.

pointydog Wed 10-Sep-08 17:23:34

meant not mean

slng Wed 10-Sep-08 17:57:02

My dentist says not to worry about ds1 sucking his thumb!

maretta Wed 10-Sep-08 17:58:46

Dentists never mention how exactly you can make a 3 year old not suck their thumb.

My sister is 31 and still sucks her thumb. She has very nice teeth and has never had braces.

Acinonyx Wed 10-Sep-08 18:17:16

My 3 yr-old is a v big thumb-sucker. I'm sure it would be better if she stopped - but I'm not going to force it.

I didn't suck my thumb but definitley should have had braces.

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 10-Sep-08 18:19:37

And how, please, can you get them to stop? DS1 is 16 and still does it. It's like a broken record in this house - DH and I both cry at the same time "get your thumb out of your mouth!"

We've tried the stuff you pain on their nails and that made not a jot of difference.

But he does have straight teeth!

MrsDougRoss Wed 10-Sep-08 18:26:44

i sucked my thumb and was only able to stop when i had my brace, because it was a plate brace and then i had a head brace for night which made thumb sucking very difficult. I also think my parents used to pull my thumb out. I was about 13. The thing about the thumb is you nottake it away, so is very hard to stop, mine used to go in while i was asleep.

Wilts Wed 10-Sep-08 18:28:19

I would love to know how you stop it as well!

My son is eleven and has a massive overbite due to his thumb sucking. We are waiting to go back to the orthodontist about him having a brace.

I don't think he is even aware that he does it any more and we just shout thumb! when we see him do it.

My biggest concern is that treatment will be refused as he still sucks his thumb.

Unlike a dummy which you can just remove I can't see how you can stop a child sucking their thumb.

As I type this he is sat watching television sucking his thumb hmm

SoupDragon Wed 10-Sep-08 18:29:01

I sucked my thumb til I was, er, 10 maybe I think.
My teeth are fine.
DS's orthodontist looked at me (with my mouth shut) and said with absolute certainty "you used to suck your thumb."

annh Wed 10-Sep-08 18:44:11

DS2, who is seven, sucks his thumb, but much less than he used to as a little child and I am hoping he might give up completely. One of his front teeth is definitely pushed forward but the dentist has said that this could be due to a couple of factors and may straighten out as other teeth come in. He may need braces but the dentist is not too concerned yet about his thumb sucking.

bran Wed 10-Sep-08 18:47:26

My db used to suck his thumb a lot until quite old (7 or 8 maybe) and never needed braces. I didn't suck my thumb at all and needed years of painful plates and braces. Of course it might be that his thumb sucking had a corrective effect as I had quite a bad underbite, but I suspect it's just a genetic lottery and very little to do with thumbsucking.

laweaselmys Wed 10-Sep-08 18:58:41

I sucked my thumb and had overbite and then braces for a year. I can see why they think it does affect things, but couldn't say if it was true. My jaw was also just too small for the amount of teeth I had and they had to keep taking them out.

BTW trying not to be a fear mongerer, but beware NHS orthodontists! I have the fear after TWO of mine went to jail for purposefully distorting kids teeth and then 'fixing' them, to steal money from the NHS. luckily, they'd taken mine off before the second one went to jail. A friend of mine who had the same staff still has braces (at 21) to fix what they did.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Wed 10-Sep-08 19:01:02

DS1 sucked his thumb and we had the same dire warnings. he stopped eventually (6 or 7) just stopped without any nagging because he didn't need it any more. He has beautiful straight teeth. Old wives tale. Suggest you fnd a new dentist?

RockinSockBunnies Wed 10-Sep-08 20:11:05

I sucked my thumb as a child until 11 and needed braces. My DD used to suck hers until the dentist told her she should stop - cue floods of tears since she didn't want to (this was when she was five). A mix of bribery and "Stop n Grow" worked wonders....I painted the stuff on her thumb everyday. The first night was hilarious - she would begin to fall asleep, the thumb would automatically go in, the hideous taste would start and she'd splutter awake crying! Second night was easier and by the third night she'd stopped altogether! I continued painting the stuff on for the next few months until the habit was totally broken. (Am now using Stop n Grow myself to try and stop biting my nails blush!

LongDroopyBoobyLady Wed 10-Sep-08 20:14:46

My dd gave up her thumb when she was told, at 5, to give it up by our dentist. She's 13 now and has wonderfully straight, white teeth.

I sucked 2 of my fingers for years and have the most disgusting, crooked teeth ever!

tissy Wed 10-Sep-08 20:22:20

I have a small mouth and had crowded teeth. i had to have 2 or 3 teeth removed when i was 11 ish, and a brace was fitted, which did improve my goofiness to a certain extent. I do wish they'd dealt wit the bottom row as well, though. I never sucked my thumb.

dd has exactly the same shaped mouth, she does suck her thumb, and at 7 she's showing no sign of wanting to stop, though she tells me she doesn't do it at school hmm.

If her dentist attempts to tell me her crowding and goofiness is due to her thumb-sucking, I shall take her elsewhere! grin

SoupDragon Wed 10-Sep-08 21:49:17

How many dentists say thumb sucking is fine? How many say it isn't?

Both DSs are currently having private orthodontic treatment to correct overcrowding (they're 9 and 7). DS1's problem is far more complex than DS2's simple overcrowding. Why? Because he's sucked his thumb since he was 4 weeks old. As I said, this orthodontist was certain that I'd sucked my thumb without looking in my mouth - it affects more than teeth because the jaws are not kept shut together.

diddle Wed 10-Sep-08 21:54:04

i sucked my thumb until i was a teenager and ended up with buck teeth and a brace for several years

juneybean Wed 10-Sep-08 21:55:47

<joins hecate>

I have an overbite too

pudding25 Thu 11-Sep-08 21:59:23

I still suck my thumb (Am 36!!!) My teeth are a bit crooked but nothing too bad.

We just took away dd's (4mth old) dummy as it was really disturbing her sleep. She now is sucking 2 fingers constantly! - but she has started sleeping through the night! You can't win.

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