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Thumb sucking substitutes? In line with chewing items - Scondary education

(20 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Sun 05-Jul-15 16:45:48

Thumb sucking substitutes? In line with chewing items - Scondary education

Hi all, I am not sure if this is the right place at all but I would like to ask...

Can anyone recommend a thumb sucking substitute, e.g. like this
for my dd.

This one looks the most like a regular necklace and comes in a choice of colours and is the cheapest, so i would go for this if had no other info to go on!

But there are other options...

This one is rather 'funky'....

This looks OK....

Even this if we could add to a leather strip or chain around her neck.

If a necklace is not allowed this bangle may also work.

Or this one, which may fit better as it has a gap in it

DD doesn't chew she sucks but I wonder if this may work?

My fear is this will become a dependency itself but may be better, in the long run, than being a thumb sucker.

I am looking for something that can give her the comfort she needs but will not push her teeth out and will not make her stand out as a thumb sucker at secondary school.

She is 10, very dyslexic, about two to three years behind the rest of the class (or the majority of it) but very bright and vibrant. For the last five years we have had difficult behaviour at home and lack of concentration at school. We have sought help and got little. But in the last year we have had more help, and now have a cmhs referral.

DD has certain sensory issues, doesn't like the feel of socks, jeans, tight clothes etc, and also doesn't like loud noises. I feel the thumb sucking, which started when she was less than 12 days old, is a way she calms herself and every single attempt to stop it has failed. It has pushed her teeth out and given her bad breath at times!

Any advice at all, please?

I expect I will need to get special 'permission' from school for my dd to 'wear' this/use this.

I am posting in a few places hence differentiating in my subject line.

Italiangreyhound Sun 05-Jul-15 16:46:03

Thank you grin

redbeard Sun 05-Jul-15 17:14:50

Hi, I know that you can get chewy pen or pencil toppers on amazon. They cover most of the pen and don't stand out too much as lots of people chew/suck pens anyway .

Not sure if that's any help.

Italiangreyhound Mon 06-Jul-15 17:23:36

Thanks redbeard.

notinminutenow Wed 08-Jul-15 11:02:32

I don't know about substitute but I have an 11 year old thumb sucker - he found it at 2 days old and has been a regular since!

He has never sucked his thumb at school since y1. Are you sure your DD actually thumb sucks at school?

Italiangreyhound Fri 10-Jul-15 22:36:52

Not I am pretty sure but I can check when I go in next. It involves a it of spying! I used to be a regular helping with reading so did see her a bit at school.

We ended up getting this and so far it seems to be making a small amount of difference. DD says she likes it and it does remind her not to suck as well as giving her something to put by her mouth if she feels the need.

notinminutenow Fri 10-Jul-15 22:50:26

Hope it does the trick Italian. It's a hard habit to break but you'll get there.

Italiangreyhound Sat 11-Jul-15 00:12:15

Thanks not it will really help if she can have a brace for her teeth and they will not put one on until she stops.

PastSellByDate Sat 11-Jul-15 08:36:25

Hi Italian:

My brother and I were both thumb suckers - right through school & University. Gradually as we became more settled adults it did stop. But we were teased mercilessly by both parents, foul tinctures painted on our thumbs if caught sucking our thumbs in front of the tv, etc... until one day the Wall Street Journal published a spirited defence of thumb sucking.

I'm that old it was before the internet and my search for it has be fruitless - but in summary it said there are at lot worse addictions in life than thumb sucking (and Wall Street in the 1970s/ early 80s would know).

It is about nervousness and needing comfort and it can be utterly unconscious.

I agree getting something less 'babyish' to suck on in school may help the social stigma of being seen sucking your thumb by friends - but most kids are alert to that social stigma and do hide this side of their life.

Being a teenager is nerve racking old stuff. You can wake up and are covered in red spots which aren't a rash and linger for days and seem enormous. Your can have hair that doesn't stay clean and looks like a grease slick by the end of the school day. You want to fit in but feel you don't (even though you probably do). Your friends are moody or friendship groups are fluid. You are going through so many changes - including what is effectively total rewiring of the brain. In short - being a teenager isn't always easy and can seem full of pressures.

In the scheme of things - thumb sucking may be a very simple non-harmful solution to anxiety. Don't be in such a rush to find an alternative - many are so much worse.

Italiangreyhound Sun 12-Jul-15 19:09:37

Thanks PastSellByDate you've given me lots of insights.

My main worry is here teeth, which are being pushed out by the thumb, so it is a tangible worry as she cant have a brace until she stops. This may mean she gets the brace at high school, rather than at junior school, where she is now.

But I know it has to come from her.

What stopped you in the end?

jimijack Sun 12-Jul-15 19:16:39

As a 45 year old with a successful career, 2 kids a gorgeous husband and own my own home thumb sucker I would venture to ask is it really essential that you stop this?

Dental problems (which are correctional) aside, what is the issue?

steppemum Sun 12-Jul-15 19:26:21

I sucked my thumb as a kid and had massively displaced teeth. It took years and loads of othodontic work to correct.

I stopped eventually by using something to fiddle in my hand, I was about 13.

Heyho111 Sun 12-Jul-15 19:35:00

Unfortunately thumb sucking doesn't just push the teeth out but the jaw can in some cases mould round the thumb. The only way to rectify this is with jaw realignment surgery.
Dummies and bottles used for too long can also cause this.
Finding an alternate all the time would be a good thing.
It was really hard work trying to stop my son sucking his thumb. You can throw a dummie away. The chewy pencil tops sound a good idea.

Italiangreyhound Sun 12-Jul-15 21:45:53

jimijack they will not correct the dental problems until she stops sucking her thumb. It's not my choice. Of course it is not essential that she stops and it is out of my control. But she does want to stop and so I want to help her.

So the issue for me is:
It is pushing out her teeth
I am worried she will be teased or bullied at high school
In the past it has made her thumb smell
She does seem to want to stop herself by can't - although she may just be saying this to me.

Thanks steppemum, sorry to hear you went through that.

Heyho111 thanks, we have seen a dentist and orthodontist and they are currently saying brace or whatever it is called nowadays so I hope we will avoid surgery! But it is good to be reminded of potential problems.

I understand the way one sucks and how often and how hard can affect whether it makes a different to teeth, so it is different for different people.

All kids are different.

I am now a massive fan of dummies. They have dummy trees in Scandinavia.

Oinkyoinky Mon 13-Jul-15 11:54:15

The only thing that worked for my dc was a Thumbguard. You have the summer hols coming up so could make her wear it then so not to be possibly embarrassed at school. It's expensive but it works if you use it properly. Sucking something alternative just moves the problem another object - the sucking still continues!

Italiangreyhound Mon 13-Jul-15 22:46:13

Thanks Oinkyoinky we tried it. My dd figured out how to get it off her thumb.

Glad it worked for you.

CrabbyTheCrabster Wed 15-Jul-15 00:05:35

I got DD a load of pendants from here...

They're well made and very funky. I was very happy with the quality and DD loves them. The website lady is happy to post overseas and even with the postage it worked out as cheap as buying over here because the pendants were cheaper. Unfortunately, though, it was opened by customs, £6 vat charged and a whopping 'processing' fee by Royal Mail (about £12). angry Mine was quite a big order though and it's the luck of the draw whether they open it or not.

CrabbyTheCrabster Wed 15-Jul-15 00:07:13

She does great fiddle toys on that site too.

Italiangreyhound Wed 15-Jul-15 01:09:27

Thanks CrabbyTheCrabster.

CrabbyTheCrabster Wed 15-Jul-15 09:05:43

You're welcome. Hope they help. The chewies helped my DD (12) to stop hair pulling - similar to thumb sucking, I guess, in that there's nothing you can take away like a dummy, and the hair/thumb are always there tempting them when they're feeling stressed or vulnerable. It's a hard one to crack.

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