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Put a Stop to Thumb Sucking

My 9 year old daughter has been a chronic thumb sucker since she was born.  A few months ago our dentist told us my daughter's thumb sucking was causing several problems with her permanent teeth which have been coming in recently and her mouth and jaw development.  He said she would need an appliance to help her stop if she couldn't do it on her own. 

I tried having her sleep wearing one of my old winter gloves on the hand that has her favorite thumb and it worked great.  She thought it was fun wearing the glove and it kept her from sucking her thumb all night.  I'd peek in on her periodically just to be sure.  After one month of this we visited the dentist and he said her teeth were already starting to straighten.  I could see the difference from the previous pictures he'd taken.  What had become a pretty large open bite had gotten much smaller and there were other positive changes as well. 

The dentist said to keep wearing the glove for 6 more months to make sure the habit is broken.  To keep it interesting for my daughter, I purchased some inexpensive ($6.50) soft, white gloves at a military surplus store for her to wear.  She likes them so much she sleeps in both of them and wears them around the house!  We also use a calendar to track her success.  She gets a sticker for each night she doesn't such her thumb and a prize once she accumulates a set number. 

Our previous dentist didn't think the thumb sucking was a problem since it was only at night.  I'm so glad I changed dentists and that we're now putting an end to the thumb sucking!                    

Ages:
General Interest
By:Austinmom
Comments
Violeta V. Jul 13, 2009
My 4 1/2 also sucks his thumb. He has been doing this since he was in the womb (I have an ultrasound with him sucking his thumb). It has not created problems with his speech. I have tried the glove thing but he eventually takes it off and sucks his thumb. He only sucks his thumb when he is tired and wants to sleep. Please help what other ideas could you guys give me? VV
Austinmom Jul 12, 2009
They actually make special chewing products for kids who have a propensity for chewing on things. Here's a link to one of the places that sells them called Achievement Products: http://www.specialkidszone.com/SearchResults.asp?Keywords=chew&imageField.x=8&imageField.y=8 My daughter used to chew on assorted objects. I bought rubber type baby spoons and tried to give her one for chewing whenever I saw her chewing on her fingers, clothes or other objects. That seemed to help and she liked that she had something colorful of her own to chew on. They sell them at most grocery stores and Walmart. By the way, it's possible that she chews on things because of some sort of sensory need. My daughter has senseory issues which causes her to chew on things. I hope this helps!
L.R. C. Jul 12, 2009
My 4-1/2 year old daughter chews on her sheets. It started in infancy as chewing on her thumb, but under a shirt sleeve...never directly on skin! As a toddler, she had a "chewy" towel (fabric diapers worked great). But now, her sheets are all yellowing and she hasn't slowed down. I've even caught her chewing standing up during the day. I've offered to buy her new sheets once she stops chewing, but it hasn't worked yet. Any suggestions on how to stop the chewing habit?
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