Pacifers and Thumb Sucking

Closeup of teethProlonged use of pacifiers can harm the teeth just like prolonged thumbsucking, although it is often easier to wean a child from a pacifier than a thumb.

If the child continues thumbsucking or pacifier use past the age of four, they may develop crooked teeth, a malformed upper jaw and speech problems.

The specific issue will depend on the frequency, duration, intensity and position of the thumb in the child’s mouth.

Some helpful hints on breaking the habit include:

  • Wait until the time is right (low stress)
  • Praise them when they are not sucking (positive reinforcement)
  • Use a reward system
  • Read David Decides About Thumbsucking A Story for Children, A Guide for Parents by Susan Heitler, PHD
  • Participate in our Thumbsucking Program and earn Toys-R-Us gift cards