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Dear Dish-It: I Still Suck My Thumb

Dear Dish-it,

I still suck my thumb. Sometimes I just do it in school and I get laughed at. I also sometimes do it in my sleep. I can’t figure out a way 2 stop. Help!!

~thumbsucker1221

Dear thumbsucker1221,

Sounds like sucking your thumb is a habit you really want to get rid of. Whether or not other kids make fun of you, there’s a very good health reason to stop sucking your thumb. When you do it often, especially during your sleep when you’re not even aware that you’re doing it, sucking your thumb can shift your teeth around in your mouth so that they’ll start looking crooked. While you may need braces whether you suck your thumb or not (most kids do since hardly anyone is born with perfectly straight teeth), it’s a good idea to try and break out of this bad habit so that you don’t end up making your teeth worse. Here’s how.

1. Willpower: Have the willpower and determination to know you want to stop – and to believe you can do anything you want to when you put your mind to it. Remind yourself that you are stronger than your bad habit!

2. Sock It: Some people who have tried to stop sucking their thumbs have done it by putting a sock over their hand or even taping a cotton ball to their thumb so they won’t be able to suck it.

3. Get a Kit: Tell your mom or dad that you want to stop sucking your thumb. They might know that there are special kits available that can help you do it. Or, they might take you to your doctor to get more advice.

4. Spice it Up: If you’re sure you’re not allergic to it, you can try coating your thumb in something that tastes spicy or bitter, like Parprika.

5. Ear Wax: One thing that might work is putting your thumb GENTLY into your ear for about three seconds. Apparently, ear wax has a bitter taste that no one likes, so this might prevent you from putting your thumb in your mouth.

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