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Go Ask Mom

How can thumb suckers quit habit?

Posted August 13, 2010

I'm the mom of an 11-month-old thumb sucker. And while I think it's way to early to worry about how long she'll suck her thumb, I'm sure there will be that time when I start to wonder what it might be doing to her teeth or when she needs to stop.

WRAL-TV's Dr. Allen Mask will offer some tips at 5:30 p.m. tonight on WRAL on how to get your thumb sucker to quit the habit.

But I'm sure some Go Ask Mom readers have been through this before. What are your suggestions? Please share in the comments!


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  • andreavanness Aug 20, 2010

    Have you heard of Thumbuddy to Love to help break the thumb sucking habit. Kids love it because it teaches them in a fun and positive way and comes with a thumb puppet and success chart. You can get it at or on Amazon

  • Chitown Aug 16, 2010

    We tried everything we could think of to stop our daughter from sucking her thumb including putting hot sauce on it. All that succeeded in doing was causing her to scream after putting her thumb in her mouth. She was 7 years old when we finally asked the dentist for help. They put an appliance in her mouth that was temporary and she immediately stopped sucking her thumb. All the appliance did was create a smaller area inside her mouth that did not allow ther thumb to fit in comfortably. The dentist told me that is takes something like 2 weeks to start a habit and 9 weeks to stop one. She had to wear the appliance for around 2 mths but it has completely stopped the habit.

  • kittiboo Aug 14, 2010

    I was a thumb sucker and had the overbite to prove it. My mom spent a lot of her hard earned money for my braces. I was at least 7 before I stopped, mostly due to peer pressure and not having another method to soothe myself. I was allowed to get my ears pierced after I stopped the habit.
    My daughter had a paci, and it was pretty easy to quit her from that when she was 17 months. To me, a paci is so much better than a thumb, because you can't throw out a thumb!

  • CowboysFan Aug 13, 2010

    i was a thump sucker.. lol.. my parents tried clear nail polish, yeap, didn't work, i would just strape it off with my teeth lol

  • Zelda Aug 13, 2010

    We told our daughter as she got older (preschool) that there would be a time when it would be important to stop sucking her thumb. Then, before kindergarten, we told her that the dentist had said that she needed to stop sucking her thumb as much as she could and that she wouldn't want to suck her thumb at school -- just when she was going to sleep. Amazingly, our daughter bought into that and gradually, the habit went away. I think not putting too much pressure on the child and not expecting it to disappear overnight are both important. Also good to know the function of the thumb sucking and that it is a habit so can be corrected with some effort (not shaming).

  • kimcphttech Aug 13, 2010

    My daughter, who is almost 8, has been sucking her thumb since she was 2 months old. I have tried everything even this stuff called Malave recommended by her dentist. I have tried Thum and reward charts. Nothing has worked, her teeth are already crowding and shifting. I will be watching tonight and would appreciate any advice given that could help her to stop. I now have a 7 month old that is following in her big sisters footsteps, what to do?

  • Likestobearrogant Aug 13, 2010

    Howdiditgettothis; I AGREE With you, I have only pushed so hard on the stopping of this habbit. I have let him call most of the shots on this.. He truely wants to stop and will tell us to try something new, something that his brain won't know so his brain won't tell him to suck it.. (it's quite cute)

  • luckys313 Aug 13, 2010

    My son never sucked his thumb and had perfect teeth out of all 5 of my kids and he's the youngest then about age 4 he started and is now just over 18 yrs old and still sucks his thumb. This is no joke Im serious and am at witts end on what to do.
    He does it all the time even in public.

  • Likestobearrogant Aug 13, 2010

    My son who is now 5 1/2 started out with a pacie and would alternate everytime I saw the thumb in I would repalce with paci. It worked for awhile but then he just wanted the thumb. He has and only sucks it while he has blanky and is sleeping. (NOT GETTING RID OF BLANKY) I have tried everything else.... socks taped on hands,stick taped on thumb, The polish called Thumb, Sticker charts , ect.... The threat from the dentist, he actaually wants to stop but say's his brain won't let him..hahah. I don't know what to do now! He has lost 3 baby teeth and I know how bad it is for his adult teeth. HELP US.

  • bendersuea Aug 13, 2010

    I was a thumb sucker (only one in particular) when I was little. Only sucking it when I was going to sleep. My parents tried everything available in the early 50's. Finally, they started wrapping the thumb with strips of cloth until it was so big I could not get it in my mouth. Did not take long to break the habit.