Thumb sucking is a normal habit that stems from a baby's natural instinct to suck. At some point an infant may discover their thumb and start sucking on it as a new found discovery. It starts out as being a normal thing, but can lead to issues, as the child gets older.
It is important not to encourage your child to suck on their thumb, though some children grow out of this habit, many do not and start to rely on the thumb sucking to quell emotional issues.
Here are the top 7 reasons you should stop your childs thumb sucking now:
1. Dental Issues - Thumb-sucking has been known to cause dental issues such as teeth misalignment and protruding front teeth otherwise known as buck teeth or jaw development problems.
2. Speech Impediments - Thumb sucking can cause lisping and other speech impairments.
3. Thrusting of the Tongue - An almost uncontrollable condition caused by thumb sucking is thrusting. This is when the tongue uncontrollably continues to thrust out of the mouth while talking.
4. Infection - The hands are often the dirtiest part of a childs body. By placing their thumb in their mouths they are introducing germs into their mouths that can not only cause sickness but conditions such as thrush - an oral yeast infection in the mouth.
5. Skin Irritations - Children who suck their thumb have serious issues with excessive wetness around the mouth which can cause irritation and rashes. They can also suffer from excessively dry, chapped skin on the lips.
6. Emotional Issues - The longer a child sucks their thumb the more likely they are to use this action as an emotional placation or crutch. They deal with their emotions by sucking their thumb and not dealing with what is truly bothering them.
7. Teasing - If a child continues to suck their thumb during the age in which they attend school, they can become targets of ridicule and teasing from other children for sucking their thumb.
It is important to try and discourage your child from continuing the habit beyond the age of three. When corrected at an early age, most children will stop the habit as they learn healthy ways to cope with their emotions.