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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!

 

76 Comments

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

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

9bella
9bella posted in Friends:
"jordand08" wrote:Its up to you, but I wouldn't associate myself with that group. You don't want your reputation to be bad because of that. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
reply about 2 hours
9bella
9bella posted in Family Issues:
Have friends over. If you have a dog or cat you could spend time with it. be a girl do your own thing in your space. play with your brothers when you can.
reply about 2 hours
9bella
9bella posted in Friends:
Dont mind the if they bother you tell a teacher.
reply about 2 hours
9bella
9bella posted in Family Issues:
well you could try talking to your mom or dad about it. but what I think will work best is explain to your sister you have your space and she has hers and ask her how she would like it if you did that in her room. and finish with I would like for you to please stop coining in here. 
reply about 2 hours
9bella
9bella posted in Family Issues:
"Delancey" wrote:I think your parents are doing it for you! They want your bright future so they're doing so. But 30 Minutes in the internet isn't right , you can talk to them about it. I'm sure they'll listen you. Advance classes are good. :) they could have thought they were parenting wrong. also If you have a problem with the rules you should definetley talk to them to understand why they were created. 
reply about 3 hours

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