Kw-logo-smaller

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

latest videos

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

related stories

Micro_deardish-sleep-micro
Sleepy asks: I have gotten into the habit of watching Youtube on my iPad or a movie on my portabl...
Micro_deardish-sweaty-micro
Sweaty asks: I have a sweating problem. Even if I keep my arms down for a short while, I sweat A ...
Micro_nails_micro
mommy's little girl asks: "My mom told me unless I stop biting my nails I won't get anything for ...
Micro_nose_micro
MP asks: "I still pick my nose and everyone laughs at me and I need help!!! Please help, it is em...

Dear Dish-It in the forums

cute_salma
cute_salma posted in Friends:
yes, just once 
reply 32 minutes
Zomble
Zomble posted in Friends:
I have been bullied a lot, mostly cause of my orientation.
reply about 8 hours
Austin110
Austin110 posted in Friends:
0 0 ----
reply about 12 hours
HannahG
HannahG posted in Friends:
Maybe they're trying a little too hard to impress you. Maybe they're desperate for a friend and don't want to lose you so they're trying to please you. Just calmly ask them if they could stop trying to be exactly like you and instead be themselves, because people like to be friends who are themselves. Good luck! -HannahG
reply about 12 hours
HannahG
HannahG posted in Friends:
Hey, just move on. If she/he can't see what a great person you are, then they don't deserve you. You're an amazing person and if they believe differently, then they don't have a clue about what they're missing. -HannahG
reply about 12 hours

play online games