Thumb-Sucking: Issues and Solutions

The thumb sucking is one of the reflexes with which babies are born that serves to ensure food and helps them recover the state of calm that is altered for living in a world that they do not understand where many things scare them.


But here we are going to discuss the issues and solutions of thumb sucking:

The negative effects of thumb sucking:

While the baby is small there is not much problem in this sense, precisely because it is still small, although the mother must try to offer the breast to be what sucks instead of the finger. In case you are not breastfed, you can offer the pacifier, which is softer and can be removed more easily than the finger.

When they are older, sucking their finger helps them to relax when they are nervous, to calm down when they are hungry and still do not receive food and to fall asleep.

However, if they continue to suck it after 5-6 years, when the definitive teeth appear, and they do it relatively hard, it can substantially alter the shape of the thumb and even get wounds and can suffer an important malocclusion of the bite.

For that reflex to be activated they need something to suck, mainly the maternal breast, which is what nature has foreseen for it, although the babies that need more to suck can get to take advantage of the shape of their finger to do it equally, just like Many fetuses do in the womb.

Since the last century babies also have pacifiers, a substitute for the breast that does not feed but allows the baby to suck and recover calm, protector of sudden death especially in babies who do not breastfeed. But that used for longer than recommended is harmful, as can also be the finger. So that you know more of all this, we tell you today what are the effects of sucking finger and how to avoid them.

Solutions of Thumb Sucking:

To stop your child from thumb sucking is also a part of your kids dental care. The finger and thumb are less problematic for speech because it is rare for a child to go with his finger in his mouth all day. However, it is harder than the pacifier and it is impossible to eliminate it and consequently, it is more capable of affecting the bite and more difficult to avoid. Following are some of the solutions you can try:
  • Find alternatives that can help him stay calm, like a toy or stuffed animal, or directly accompany you until you fall asleep.
  • Try to sleep as soon as you notice that he is sleepy: we often delay and then when he goes to sleep he has less sleep and uses his finger to "provoke" the calm and fall asleep.
  • Help him talk about his problems or frustrations so that he tries to overcome them from the cognition and not from the suction. It is a help to grow and find other tools to find calm.
Use some element that generates rejection: If it costs a lot, if the finger is being affected or if the mouth is too and needs correction by orthodontics, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that, in addition to all the above, we explain that to take care from your finger and from your mouth you have to bandage it or even put some substance that gives it a bad taste. That you can suck it without a problem, but that you know badly so that it does not.

Children who use a pacifier take a breast for less time:


Children who use the pacifier intensely (not only use it to sleep and calm down promptly but at more times of the day) can affect the development of speech because it does not allow the logical and natural movements of the tongue and mouth in day today.

Also, children who use the pacifier too long may experience speech delays because they talk less and talk less. When going with a pacifier, people talk less to them because they know they cannot answer, and when they go with a pacifier, they talk less because they cannot talk!

If you want your kid should avoid thumb sucking as early as possible, you should see the best children dentist near you.