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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

ITpennywise
Idek who would wanna date me since I'm very socially awkward, never know what to say, and am weird and kind of crazy (in a good way?) and I have anxiety...... I'm ugly too so idk, if u think u wanna date me just message me or comment lol who would want to though in all honesty haha  :D
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Abbergrl
OMG IT is. It is and please don't disagree when I say it's the most annoying thing ever. Of course I know better than to date online. I don't trust long distance relationships, not even when it comes to friends. Though I like to believe kw keeps us all connected (: But it's possible, and I dislike this fact /: Here I go. Now I have put ideas into people's heads... way to go...
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I seriously have no idea and have spent a lot of time wondering about this but honestly, it makes me so angry.
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ImagineOrdinary
Uh, I don't see why you need to 'come out' to them...?
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ImagineOrdinary
I think you can still get cold chills if you aren't cold  or it might be mild turrets 
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