My Thumb Sucker Must Quit

My almost three year old sucks her thumb.  I have always been glad she's a thumb sucker, as I know when she is tired and her thumb soothes her from crying often.  She doesn't have a blanket like her brother, who has had problems sleeping if he doesn't have it with him.  Luckily, she always has her thumb.


Yesterday we went to the dentist and my kids were jumping up and down in excitement.  Is it the prize from the toy chest, the stickers or the neon flossers?  I dread the dentist chair like a plague and  I'm thrilled my fear hasn't rubbed off on them.

Despite the occasional candy and lackluster brushing jobs, no cavities were found. I was unfortunately informed my daughter has an overbite and therefore needs to cease sucking her thumb.

First of all, my teeth were terrible as a middle school student and I am quite confident, thumb sucking or not, she will need to endure years of braces.

Second of all, potty training is a hard enough task for the summer.  Couple it with no thumb sucking, and my summer outlook is bleak. 

Third of all, it is a challenge getting this child to sleep.  Eliminating the thumb, sounds down right miserable for everyone involved.

Is Dr. Bob right? Should we begin to use thumb guards? Adults don't suck their thumbs; I think she will stop when the time is right.

Have you undergone this challenge?  How old was your child?  How did you eliminate thumb sucking?


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  • Potty Train her!! She will definitely have braces, don't make yourself crazy!

  • I completely agree with the comment above. My 10-year-old sister still sucks her thumb and we knew since she was a baby that she'd need braces. Big deal. Almost everyone does now a days and you won't be able to fix that. We have tried to get her to stop but it's not worth the fight. Besides by the time she was 5 or 6 she stopped sucking it in public, so now it just happens when she goes to bed or is sleepy. It was the same story with my mom and my cousin too, they sucked their thumbs until they were like 8 or so but once they started attending school they didn't in public and I'm sure your daughter won't either. For now I'd focus a lotttt on potty training instead because your daughter seems a little behind in that!! Good luck!

  • Ok, my daughter is only 18 months old but here's my opinion....

    She is having a hard time giving up the bottle and my pediatrician says so nonchalantly, "Just drop the bottle. Give it to her in a cup. Don't give in." But he's not living with me. The bottle soothes her and helps her sleep -- especially since we moved and a second baby is on the way...two BIG transitions.

    I would focus on potty training and let go of the thumb sucking. We have to pick our battles. And yes, doesn't every kid get braces these days? Good luck!

  • My now six-year-old had her pacifier until she was 3.5. Oddly, the dentist never asked or said anything about it. She didn't have an overbite but she did have serious cavity action at age 4. The dentist said it was nothing to do with nursing, pacifiers or lazy teeth brushing (we were good about brushing her teeth). It was mostly genetic.

    So I decided that the poor kid was allowed one vice, and the pacifier was it. She had it until 3.5 or so and then she was ready. She still sleeps with her blankie. Don't worry about the thumb right now. That's my advice, anyway.

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