Posted .

If your child sucks their thumb at an older age, their mouth and smile can be in danger. This is because the unnatural pressure in the mouth can affect the development of the smile. So, it’s best to do all you can to help your child kick the habit. Our dentist, Dr. Mark L. Pitel, has some tips that can help you.

First, reward good behavior. Instead of disciplining your child when they suck their thumb, try celebrating with your child when they don’t participate in the habit. This can help them feel better about stopping and it can also encourage them to keep up the good work. If needed, you can also create a visible chart where your child can win stickers and prizes if they meet certain goals.

Second, cover the thumb. If you cover the thumb when they are most likely to suck it, it can help them realize that sucking the thumb is a bad idea. It can also change the taste and texture of the thumb, which can make it less pleasing to your child.

Third, talk to your dentist. Dr. Mark L. Pitel can talk to your child and explain why thumb sucking is tough for the mouth and smile. This can give your child a good idea of what might happen if they continue to suck their thumb, which might motivate them to stop.

Do you have any questions about how to help your child stop sucking their thumb in Poughkeepsie, New York? If so, please call Mark L. Pitel, DMD, PC at 845-454-0790 when you have the opportunity. Our dental team will be more than happy to work with your child and help them save their smile. We look forward to helping you!