Sunday, September 18, 2011

Breaking the Habit of Thumb Sucking

how to stop thumb sucking
As babies, many of us turn to our thumbs as sources of comfort in times of stress, so it only makes sense that this habit is sometimes carried over into adulthood. While most adults and older children are slick enough to hide such habits, thumb sucking can cause severe tooth damage and should be stopped as soon as possible to avoid further deformation of the teeth.

One popular method of stopping the thumb sucking habit is by soaking the thumb in a spicy liquid. If you have any cuts on your finger, this can be a painful experience in more way than one, but otherwise, you shouldn’t feel it. If you happen to stick your thumb in your mouth while it has the spicy substance on it, you will immediately notice the spice, and pull your thumb away. After a while, your brain will associate sucking your thumb with an unpleasant reaction and you will lose the desire. Since spicy substances wash off easily and require the spice to be reapplied often, this isn’t a very practical method to use when in public.

If you are looking for a public-friendly method of preventing yourself from sucking your thumb, try a nail polish specially formulated to taste disgusting. Available online, these clear or colored nail polishes are an inexpensive and conspicuous method of preventing public thumb sucking. As with spices, flavored nail polish teaches the brain that sticking your thumb in your mouth leads to an unpleasant effect and reminds you of this memory each time you put your thumb to your mouth.

how to stop thumb sucking during sleep
Many people suck their thumbs in their sleep – when they cannot control what they are doing. This can be the hardest form of thumb sucking to break since your brain does it while you are unconscious and unable to stop yourself. There are a few different ways to help you stop sucking your thumb in your sleep. By planning a sleep-over or inviting a friend to spend the night, you can start the night with the conscious reminder that there is someone else in the room watching you. While unpleasant to most, this embarrassment is a great emotion to combat the urge to suck your thumb. If nobody is available to come over, try wearing gloves to bed. This tricks the brain into thinking a different object has been inserted into the mouth and often times, stopping the action from taking place.

Author: Elliot Pearson writes on health, tech, SEO and likes Dentist Identity who provides Social Marketing for Dentists and Dental Practice Marketing.

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