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Children seek comfort in many ways as they begin to learn how to self soothe. For some children, this means a pacifier during their baby and toddler years. For others, a security blanket does the trick, or even a favorite stuffed animal. But for many babies, toddlers, and young children, thumb sucking has become a way in which they seek out comfort and provide it for themselves.

And the practice of thumb sucking is incredibly common among this population, with up to ninety five percent of babies sucking their thumbs or fingers at some point during infancy. They often do this simply because it is a reflex, and the vast majority of kids will grow out of it at an appropriate age. But not all do. Data shows that ten percent of all kids in the United States keep sucking their thumbs after turning three years of age and around five percent continue on after turning five.

And while it might seem like a harmless habit overall, there are many reasons to be anti-thumb sucking. Of course, there is a time and a place to be anti-thumb sucking, and it’s important to try out thumb sucking remedies only once your child has reached an age when thumb sucking could cause damage and taking an anti-thumb sucking stance becomes more necessary. For most children, a doctor will recommend that you get them to stop thumb sucking by the time that they turn four. While this might seem like a relatively old age to curb the habit and become anti-thumb sucking, it is the age that is recommended by the American Dental Association, which is the authority on such things.

There are many reasons to be anti-thumb sucking once you understand the potential negative effects of the habit. For one, it can lead to a lisp in some children, as well as other kinds of speech impediments. As speech impediments impact up to five percent of all children in the United States, it is important to take steps to remove such risks from your child’s life, even if it means becoming anti-thumb sucking. While being anti-thumb sucking is likely to be difficult at first, it will be well worth it in the long run, both for you as well as your child.

Being anti-thumb sucking is a great way to prevent the spread of illness and disease. This is due to the fact that up to three thousand and two hundred bacteria have been known to be found on just one lone person’s hands. And while this might seem like an extraordinarily high number, it is one that makes a lot of sense if you think about it. After all, we use our hands for just about everything that we do in life and it is not difficult to see how our hands could pick up so many germs just from living our day to day lives. Germs are even more easily spread through children, as they do not yet understand the basics of hygiene in order to stop such of a spread. Thumb sucking only contributes to this spread, as the mouth has many germs inside of it as well.

Fortunately, there are ways that thumb sucking can be dealt with in a relatively efficient manner. For instance, thumb sucking gloves and thumb sucking guards have proven to be incredibly effective in preventing a child from continuing to suck their thumb. Thumb sucking prevention is another way to go about things, as keeping your child from ever developing the habit in the first place will of course negate any of the risks that go along with it. It will also save you as the parent quite a lot of time as well, as you will not need to spend the time later on in being anti-thumb sucking and trying desperately (and often with limited success, especially at first) to break them of the habit.

Sucking one’s thumb is common during childhood, but it is a habit that needs to be broken sooner rather than later, as it has been known to have detrimental effects.

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May 2024
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