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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

Cutepandicorn
Don't hate your little sister. You're lucky you have one. I wish I have one. I have 3 older brothers. I do things like that to them if they ignore me and don't play with me because I feel left out and I want attention. Maybe your sister is doing that so you hang with her more.
reply 24 minutes
labimba
labimba posted in Style:
Neko girl I have to get back in shape for September if u want we can be training buddies!  :)  
reply 1 day
animallover468
animallover468 posted in Style:
EndlessDream is right. Skipping breakfast and lunch can result in stomach ulcers and sudden weight gain (had personal experience...), ESPECIALLY skipping breakfast! You have to incorporate exercise in your daily routine. Stomach and body fat is mostly caused by lack of exercise, and maybe that means you need to do toning exercises. Try doing simple exercise videos like the 3-mile powerwalk on YouTube (trust me, I sweat like crazy when I do those workouts). Anything that gets you sweating, is the kind of exercise you need to do.  I hated working out when I first started my weight loss journey too. I would always start wheezing every time I started working out. But after pushing through everyday, I think working out is one of the best stress busters I've ever had!  If you want to lower your appetite though, I suggest eating a full lunch and breakfast and skipping your dinner. If you can't skip dinner, then at least try aiming for an early dinner, around 5:30 or 6:00. Your body needs time to digest at least 4 hours before you sleep. I started gaining weight around puberty when I was 12, it could be the same for you too.  But honestly, there's nothing wrong with having consciousness about your weight. Now starving yourself and dieting is BAD, but there's nothing wrong with changing your lifestyle in order to be fit. It's a good thing that kids start caring about their health, and the earlier you start, the better off you are. 
reply 1 day
EndlessDream
EndlessDream posted in Style:
You need breakfast and lunch. Starving yourself, even if you aren't hungry, makes you loose energy to the point you could pass out from not eating. Keep your diet healthy. For breakfast, at least have yogurt, fruit, and juice. Drink at least 4 full glasses of water a day. Trim down on the snacks. Everyone has different bodies and build. You may just be large-boned. And that's not bad! That makes you stronger and higher ability to gain muscle. Loosing weight doesn't happen over night. It can take months. 
reply 2 days
Nekogirl101
Nekogirl101 posted in Style:
For years my parents would tell me I'm skinny but compared to other people, my waist was bigger and I would always hide it. Though it was obvious I weighed more, I've only been doing this for a week and I didn't ever tell anyone what I was doing until my parents found out. I would skip lunch and breakfast and say I was full. I only ate a big dinner every night. Once my parents found out, they said it was unhealthy and if I didn't  stop, I would develop an eating disorder. I obviously listened to them, but I've tried as best as I can so far. I have barely lost any weight from exercise and my parents won't let me go on a diet because I already 'eat healthy enough'. I want to lose weight without exercising being 3/4s of my lifestyle. I know, I'm a lazy idiot for saying all this.
reply 2 days