← Go back Thumb Sucking
Published on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 by

Q: My child is four years and still sucking his thumb. Should I be worried?
A: Your child still sucking his thumb at the age of four is not terribly unusual. Ultimately he will be the one to decide when he’s had enough of it. You need to be careful not to let him feel too much pressure around his thumb-sucking. I’ve heard of all sorts of ways parents use to try discouraging thumb-sucking from painting a bitter anti-nail biting solution on the thumb to even putting a cast on the offending digit!
I would suggest that you not make too much of a big deal over it. Have a simple talk and let him know why his thumbsucking is an issue (could be bad for his teeth/smile). You basically need him to “buy in” to wanting to quit. Gently (and repeatedly) mentioning that he’s becoming such a big boy will plant the seed in his mind that he is out-growing his habit. Suggest to him that both of you work on a secret signal that you can use when you notice him sucking.
If all else fails and he’s still sucking after the age of six years, the dentist may suggest a device that sits on the palate and may discourage the sucking.

Article By:
Dr. Cheryl Mutch, pediatrician

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