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It’s cute when a child sucks their thumb, right? The smile might not think so if your child sucks their thumb at an older age while their smile and mouth are developing. This is because the unnatural pressure can affect the development. So, it’s important to help your child curb the habit. Our dentist, Dr. Steven Pooley, has some tips to help you do so.

First, reward good behavior. Celebrate with your child when they don’t suck their thumb instead of criticizing or disciplining them when they do. This can help your child feel positive about stopping their habit and it can also help them feel motivated to keep up the good work. If you would like, create a visual chart where your child can earn stickers and prizes when they meet their goals.

Second, cover the thumb. This can change the taste and texture of the thumb, which can encourage your child to stop sucking it. All you need to do is cover it with a band-aid or sock when your child is likely to suck their thumb.

Third, talk to your dentist. Dr. Steven Pooley can help your child understand why it’s important to stop sucking their thumb. If they know the reasoning behind it, they might feel like it’s more important.

To learn more about how to help your child stop sucking their thumb in Loves Park, Illinois, please call Pooley Dentistry at 815-968-5434. Our dental team will be more than happy to help you, and we look forward to hearing from you!