Does your child spend a lot of time sucking their thumb?

Do you notice them doing so when they’re hungry, bored, impatient, or tired?

Have you tried everything to get your child to stop sucking their thumb without any luck?

If so, they may have a thumb sucking issue. We can help.

Here at Voz Speech Therapy, one of the speech therapy services we offer is chronic thumb sucking reduction for children ages 5 and up, through the Thumbs Up! protocol.


What Is Thumb Sucking?

It’s very common for children to suck their thumbs or fingers. Most of us do this from a very young age. This urge may be related to our instinctual ability to breastfeed. After all, we need to do so from birth in order to survive, and at that point we’re far too young to be taught how to do it.

However, eventually your child should grow out of it.

In most infants, their thumb sucking habits begin to decrease in frequency after about six months or so. However, in some cases they may keep it up.

In your child’s case, they may suck their thumb when they feel the following:

Impatient

Bored

Hungry

Thirsty

Frustrated

Tired

Frightened

Habitual

Why Is Chronic Thumb Sucking A Problem?

Chronic thumb sucking beyond the expected six month mark can lead to abnormal jaw development and poorly aligned teeth. It can also develop abnormal swallowing patterns, abnormal tongue positioning, and issues with speech and feeding.

There’s also evidence that it can cause earlier loss of their baby teeth, which may disrupt your ability to teach them to eat solid foods. Children who chronically thumb suck also tend to have poorer oral hygiene than their counterparts.

While this may not affect your child too much as a toddler, as they get older it can cause more significant cosmetic and speech related issues.

Children who can avoid chronic thumb sucking or break the habit, on the other hand, don’t tend to deal with these issues.

While chronic thumb sucking doesn’t tend to be as severe an issue as others, it can still create a lifetime of frustration for your child as they grow older.

When Should You Seek Treatment For Chronic Thumb Sucking?

In general, it’s a good idea to make sure your child breaks their chronic thumb-sucking habit before their adult teeth grow in. This means they should stop they’re chronic thumb-sucking by around age 6 at the latest.

However, early intervention speech therapy for chronic thumb sucking tends to be ideal as well. This is because chronic thumb sucking can cause your child to grow at an abnormal rate.

In particular, it can cause their upper jaw to grow more quickly, and delay the growth of their lower jaw. This can lead to an abnormally shaped mouth, which can lead to some of the complications listed above.

The good news is that chronic thumb sucking is relatively easy to treat when your child works with an experienced and qualified speech therapist.

Treatments For Chronic Thumb Sucking

The Thumbs Up! Protocol was developed by Simon Says, a speech therapy training company that specializes in trainings for orofacial myofunctional speech therapy treatment.

If your child has been chronically sucking their thumb and your child is over the age of 5, Voz Speech Therapy can help.

Your child will work with a speech therapist for children who has been specifically trained in the Thumbs Up! Protocol. The program is designed to not only eliminate your child’s chronic thumb sucking habit, it’s also designed to be fun.

It’s a 30-day program using a number of different modalities, including games, videos, comic books, and more. By keeping your child engaged, and using positive reinforcement and rewards, your child can break their thumb sucking habit and get the best shot at developing healthy teeth, a healthy jaw, and comprehensible speech patterns.

Your child’s chronic thumb sucking speech therapist will also work with you directly, as the child’s primary caregiver. They will empower you with the information you need to help your child succeed.

Book Your Appointment With Voz Speech Therapy Today

Has your child been sucking their thumb for longer than 6 months and is at least 5 years old?

Are you worried it may affect their speech, language, swallowing, or physical development?

If so, we can help.

Here at Voz Speech Therapy, our team has received specialized training in how to stop chronic thumb sucking in young children.

Does your child spend a lot of time sucking their thumb?

If so, the Thumbs Up! protocol from Voz Speech Therapy can help your child break this habit.