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Can I Help My Child Get Rid of the Sucking Habit?

 The Sucking Habit

Did you know that the habit of sucking on thumbs and pacifiers is normal for children who are less than four years old? But, what about children who are five or older?  Sucking can put your child’s oral health at risk including misalignment of the jaw and other dental problems like bite issues. But, if this habit is stopped on time, your child can avoid many oral problems in the future.

So, where do parents stand in the situation?

As parents, there are a number of things that you can do to help your child get rid of the habit. The first step of course is being as supportive as possible while praising and when needed, rewarding the efforts of your child to discontinue the habit. Telling the child about the harmful effects of thumb sucking will also help him understand how important it is to get rid of the problem. If stress is what causes the child to get indulged in the habit, try to figure out the cause of the stress so that you can help your child cope with the two problems i.e. both stress and thumb-sucking.  You may also consider seeking dental advice. There are dentists who offer special appliances for correcting distortions resulting from frequent sucking while helping the child discontinue the habit.