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Health Tip: Help Children Quit Thumb Sucking
Praise them when they don't do it
-- Diana Kohnle

(HealthDay News) -- Thumb sucking can cause problems with your child's teeth and mouth, so it's best to have the child quit the habit early.

The American Dental Association suggests how to help children stop thumb sucking:

  • Give your child lots of attention and praise for not sucking the thumb.
  • Offer plenty of support and comfort, as children tend to suck the thumb when they are anxious.
  • If the child is older, let him or her help decide the best method to quit thumb sucking.
  • Ask your dentist to talk to your child about the problems that can occur from thumb sucking.
  • Bandage the thumb, especially at night.
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