STOP THUMB SUCKING!
Well, at least that’s what we are told.
Parents: You don’t want it to affect their teeth. You don’t want them doing it when they go to school.
As health clinicians, we know that thumb and finger sucking can affect the growth of the jaws and the palate. There are plenty of studies to prove it. So we tell the parents to make those kids stop….somehow. Or ignore it. Or tell them to buy a guard. Or that yucky nail polish…..or……..something…..
But what if we have it all wrong?
What if the thumb sucking ISN’T the problem?
What if its simply the SYMPTOM of a BIGGER problem?
Now I’m not talking about babies….sucking in babies is NORMAL. I’m telling you right now people, you can relax about that one.
I’m talking about prolonged sucking in children over the age of 3.
I’m talking about kids who CONSTANTLY have their finger or thumbs in their mouth. Who can’t cope or function without it. Kids who struggle with a chronic thumb or finger sucking habit.
I’m talking about kids like my Miss F.
I’d like to tell you her story. Its not finished yet. But its like so many of my patients’ stories. And I want to share it with you…..