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Thumb sucking and other habits

 

Well lets talk about habits and thumb sucking. Thumb sucking does not screw up their teeth until 4 years old and the only good way to get them to stop is to have the dentist put a wire apparatus behind their teeth to prevent them from sucking it. We all have habits. The 1 year olds suck their thumb, carry their blanket, pacifier, or dolly around. Then by school age we don't want to go to school sucking our thumb or carrying our teddy, so we shift habits. The normal school age habits are biting your nails, picking your nose, and twirling your hair. (What is the difference between broccoli and boogers? Your children will eat their boogers.) Then by adult hood we shift to our habits. Girls that bite their lip or chew gum. Men that stroke their beards, or bald men that rub their heads. Then there are those that have bizarre habits like squinting, clearing their throats, wrenching their necks, popping their knuckles. Children can have weird ones too. They pull their hair out (trichotillomania) by the roots and have a bald spot, gag themselves and throw up, facial tics, and even masturbating every 10 minutes. So we would like to shift habits to a more social one like biting your nails (better than picking your nose and eating or flicking it.). We shift habits, we don't stop them.  The question is which one do you want.  If you stomp out one, you will get another one you wish you never heard of.  Leave your child alone for now and when they bite their nails, leave it alone and gently remind her not to suck her thumb. We have till 4-5 years old to get them to stop sucking their thumb.  Gently try to get them to stop the habit you don't want, and let them do the one you will accept.

Dr. Knapp