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Internatinal Association of Orofacial Myology

Thumb Sucking Elimination

What is thumb sucking?

Thumb or finger sucking is common among babies and small children. Infants are born with a natural urge to suck their thumbs which usually decreases after they reach the age of 6 months. Some children, however, continue sucking their thumbs to soothe themselves which can quickly become a habit.

What's wrong with thumb sucking?

If thumb or finger sucking persists longer than it should, your child may develop some unpleasant problems. Thumb sucking can speed up the growth of the upper jaw, slow down the growth of the lower jaw, and cause improper alignment of the teeth. 

Constant pressure from the thumb or fingers can cause long term problems:

  • high narrow palate

  • early loss of baby teeth

  • abnormal swallowing patterns

  • improper tongue position

  • speech problems

Benefits of breaking the habit:

  • Improved appearance

  • Ability to speak more clearly

  • Better dental health

When is the best time to break the habit?

The best time to break the habit is before the permanent teeth grown in, around the age of 4 to 6. Speech pathologists with advanced training in orofacial myology can usually begin to reverse the negative effects of thumb or finger sucking in a just a few weeks - so even if your child's older and continues to suck their thumb or fingers... we can help them break the habit!

What is the best way to help my child stop thumb sucking?

Behavioral modification methods have proven to be at least 90% effective. We use positive reinforcement by establishing self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment in your child. The Simon Says Thumbs Up! Program allows your child to take charge of breaking their habit with guidance and support from both the therapist and parents. It creates a sense of self-satisfaction that quickly and effectively replaces the child's thumb or finger sucking desire. 

To learn more about the Simon Says Thumbs Up! Thumb Sucking Elimination Program, Book a Free Consultation Now!