Why do I suck on everything

Thumb sucking: harmless or harmful?

Which treatment a child then needs - whether a simple oral plate or a complicated orthodontic appliance - when to start it and how long it takes depends on the damage to the teeth and jaw. "The most important prerequisite for therapy is that the child has finished sucking the thumb," says Widdershoven. And that's not so easy when sucking your thumbs is a habit.

Stop sucking your thumbs: this is how it works

So how do you wean? Parents can make a pacifier disappear, but not the thumb. You can pull it out of the mouth of the offspring, but you shouldn't let it come to a power struggle. What helps now: observe the child and his behavior closely. Why is it sucking right now? What need does it fulfill? "If it is sad, comfort it. Take it in your arms and give it the security it is looking for at the moment," says Holger Simonszent.

If the little one puts his thumb in his mouth out of boredom, it needs an interesting activity. What must not be neglected under any circumstances: extensive praise if the child does not suck the thumb in a stressful situation. "Anyone who reacts irritably to sucking provokes a vicious circle: The criticism leads to even more stress in the child, it sucks even more because it cannot handle it any other way," explains the psychologist.

Alternative to the thumb: pacifier or comfort blanket

Parents cannot entirely prevent a baby from using their thumb instead of a pacifier or other pacifier. "But I would try and offer him a pacifier or comforter, for example," advises Simonszent. Pediatric dentist Widdershoven also advocates an alternative: "Anatomically shaped pacifiers also cause problems, but due to the pacifier shape, they are more even and therefore easier to treat."