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Dear Dish-it: Breaking a Bad Habit

Jul 05, 2013

Dear Dish-it,

I have sucked my thumb ever since I was little. Now I'm going into 6th grade and I still suck my thumb. Whenever I'm not sucking it I'm eating and I'm starting to get worried because my teeth are starting to push out. Please help!

Thumb Sucker

Dear Thumb Sucker,

Breaking a bad habit is hard to do, especially when you've been doing it all your life. Unfortunately, thumb sucking after age 5 can cause many problems, both with your dental health and your skin.

Dental Problems

Once you have your permanent teeth, it's important to take good care of them. As you mentioned, thumb sucking can cause your teeth push out. This will eventually give you an overbite or alignment problems that only an orthodontist can fix. By breaking this habit now, you could potentially save your parents thousands of dollars. Along with dental problems, you could also begin to experience speech problems, such as a lisp.

Skin Problems

Prolonged thumb sucking will eventually cause skin irritation on your thumbs. This could come in the form of calluses, dry or chapped skin, or even fingernail infections that could slow or stop the growth of your nail. Chapped skin on your thumb will likely entice you to suck more, but resist the urge! It will only make it worse.

Solutions

Cold turkey is obviously the best way to break any habit, but I'm sure by now you've tried that. Don't replace this bad habit with another one, like eating or nail-biting. This will only lead to further problems down the line. Instead, try applying bitter-tasting nail polish to your thumb nails. This technique is commonly used to stop nail-biting, but it could also work for you as it will make your thumbs taste bad. In place of this polish, you could also spray your thumbs with perfume or hair spray. If this doesn't work for you, try wearing mittens or gloves. Obviously, this isn't practical for school, but at home, and especially in bed at night, this could prevent any unconscious thumb sucking.

Have Your Say

Do you have any advice for Thumb Sucker? Tell us in our comment section below!

 

82 Comments

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Poll badhabit

What's your bad habit?

  • Procrastinating (waiting until the last minute to get things done)
  • Nail-biting
  • Lying
  • Forgetting to Brush Your Teeth

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

drowning
drowning posted in Style:
  "imtcutiie" wrote: DONT DO IT JUST PLEASE #### #### #### ......... CHANGING EYE COLOR  JUST WRONG   Changing eye color isn't wrong. :^) But, you can't simply change it with "spells" or videos. To change your eye color, you will need to either wear contacts during the day to appear that you have different colored eyes than you truly have, or medically having a doctor perform surgical iris correction.
reply about 8 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
I hope you texted back if you felt that it would be the right thing to do for yourself. I did not have a good childhood due to my birthmother and father. But, in recent time, I have come to enjoy talking to my birthfather and completely cannot stand my birthmother or her new husband anymore. I plan to actually meet him for the first time in 16 years if I can join my fiancé's family vacation.  Point of the matter, do what you feel is right. If you want to talk to him; talk to him. If you don't, don't reply if you don't feel comfortable too. It is purely your choice who you allow in your life, even when it comes down to blood and family.
reply about 8 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
It isn't pathetic in the slightest to seek help. I don't think it is right for your mother and siblings to completely disown you over your choice of living arrangements. If they have pushed you away, remember that it is not your fault and it is purely theirs. You made a choice that you felt would benefit you, and judging from their behavior, it was a good choice. As for your father, I don't fight with my own very much, but when I do it tends to be pretty bad. My mother on the other hand, I fight with constantly so I understand where you're coming from. You shouldn't have to do anything. From the sound of it, it seems more like a personal issue going on with himself, especially a sense of shame or regret with his previous exes so he uses you as an outlet because you're the closest thing he has.  I say find an outlet, a healthy one. Sometimes it is best to let them ramble on until they wear themselves out, but remember that self-defense and "talking back" is not always a bad thing just because they are your guardian. It is important to take a stand for yourself. Be respectful, don't sink to their level.
reply about 9 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
I think it is very important to find a healthy outlet and someone to talk to whether it's a doctor, friend, family member, ect. You can even find a journal to write in, if it will help you. I promise you, it isn't worth it to let families opinions and views affect you. I let the same thing happen to me and I still struggle over things that I wish I didn't.
reply about 9 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Friends:
Personally, given your age, the idea of a crush is a bit cute, but you're a little young for anything serious. I would recommend waiting until you truly know what you're doing. (And, believe me, you may not see it now, but you will when you're older.) But, if you really do want to find out, you need to remember that boys and girls both feel things. Boys aren't aliens, they aren't emotionless, and they aren't always just  dumbieheads.  You'll find it funny later on in life from how nervous you had gotten over a crush So honestly, just be straight forward. If you need a topic starter to bring it up, joke about old rumors that used to spread about you both.
reply about 9 hours