Dental Problems

Treatment Considerations for Thumb Sucking Habit

Thumb sucking habit must be prevented as early as possible. It becomes a huge problem for the parents to make their kid quit thumb sucking or finger sucking habit. Parents can include various simple home remedies or different ways for preventing thumb sucking habits. One can also go for treatment considerations for thumb sucking habit, which are discussed below. Let us examine them.

Treatment-Considerations-for-Thumb-Sucking-HabitTreatment considerations for thumb sucking habit:

  • Psychological status of the child:

    Diagnosis and management of any psychological problem should be planned before treatment of any potential or present dental problem. The frequency, duration and intensity of the oral habit are important in evaluating the psychological status of the child. The events that precede the habit such as the use of a security blanket, the dependency on a favorite toy, problems with sleep, nightmares, nervousness and anxiousness will yield information concerning the possible psychological stimuli of the habit. If the oral habit is associated with an emotional problem this would suggest the need for psychological consultation.

  • Age factor:

    If the child desists with the finger sucking habit within the first three years of the life, the damage incurred such as open bite, is temporary provided the child’s occlusion is normal. No treatment is provided in this age group. If a malocclusion is caused by digit sucking and the habit is discontinued between the age of 4 and 5 years, self-correction of the habit can be expected. When digit sucking continues after 6 years or into mixed dentition, the malocclusion will not self-correct.

  • Motivation of the child to stop the habit:

    It is also important to assess the maturity of the child in response to new situations and to observe the child’s reactions to any suggestion. The treatment approach for the digit sucking habit should deal directly with the child. The first ingredient needed to stop the habit is the child’s desire to stop.

  • Parental concern regarding the habit:

    If the parent is unable to cope with the situation positively then both the parent and the child should be dealt with during treatment. The parents should become silent partners. It is important that the child should not be offered to deal with this difficult habit. Negative reinforcements in the form of threats, nagging and ridicule would only entrench the habit.

  • Other factors:

    Self-correction again depends on the severity of the malocclusion, anatomic variation in the perioral soft tissue and the presence of other oral habits, such as tongue thrusting, mouth breathing and lip biting habits.

The above article discusses about the various treatment considerations for thumb sucking habit.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *