Thumb sucking is a normal and comfortable habit for babies and toddlers. While most children overcome this habit at a young age, some parents are faced with the fact that primary school-age children still suck their thumbs.

Usually, the reasons children continue to suck their thumbs are hunger, boredom, or habitual stress. At this stage, it is important to try to break the habit before it permanently damages your child's permanent teeth. Thumb sucking is usually dangerous if it continues into 5-6 years of age.

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What are the long-term effects of exposure to your child if they continue to suck their thumbs?  Children who suck their thumbs well during and after childhood are at greater risk of infection because the mouth is constantly exposed to bacteria. These children are usually introduced to antibiotics earlier than children who give up their thumb-sucking habit.

Here are some tips on how to stop your child from thumb sucking at this point:

  • Do not pick or punish your child for thumb sucking as this can stress them out and cause them to suckle their thumbs more frequently.
  • Be gentle when encouraging your child not to suck his thumb. You must be old enough to understand the reasons why this habit is dangerous. You can also try to distract him when he starts sucking his thumb to break the habit.
  • Explain to them the long-term effects of such habits and what can cause them.