Thumb sucking is a reflex for roughly 95% of babies. When a child is still sucking their thumb or fingers when they are two years old, however, it has become a habit. Since continued thumb and finger sucking can potentially lead to dental and other health issues, it’s important for parents to learn how to stop this behavior.
A Brief Overview of Thumb Sucking Behavior
Some children will stop sucking their thumb on their own with little or no intervention. Approximately ten percent will continue to suck their thumbs when they are two or three years of age. After they’ve turned four or five, roughly five percent of children will still suck their thumbs. Without intervention, there is a small percentage of children that will continue to suck their thumbs well into first grade.
The Best Time to Discourage Thumb Sucking
The American Dental Association reports that the best time to begin discouraging children from sucking their thumbs is four years of age. One of