Kamis, 15 Desember 2011

Thumb Sucking: How do you make to an end?

Duimzuigen: hoe maak je er een einde aan?
If a child reaches the age of three years, it is desirable that it no longer thumb sucking. The custom is of course initially, but after the first three years of life can lead to permanent deformities. What can be done to help the child to refrain from the habit?

Thumb Sucking gives a sense of security

Shortly after birth , the natural behavior that thumb sucking calms the baby and reassuring. One can thumb sucking as an adaptive and self-defense and as a means of consolation. If it becomes a habit, the child thumb sucking in certain circumstances, such as angry, sad, lonely feeling, and even when the child is happy.
With age the habit usually disappears gradually and spontaneously, without an intervention is necessary.

But if the child after the age of three years yet inches sucking must intervene because the habit of irreversible teeth and mouth can cause deformities.

Dental and mouth deformities

Depending on the intensity and duration of thumb sucking, the consequences are more or less significant: upper teeth to face with an increased risk of breaking the teeth, chewing difficulties and esthetic consequences, spaced teeth, a hollow, deep and long palate, an open mouth, lips without tone, speech difficulties, only breathing through the mouth, an extension of the lower face, an underdeveloped nose, deformed and injured thumb and psychological consequences (harassment, isolation, etc.).

Acknowledge the problem

First the problem and its intensity are recognized. Thumb-sucking is a reflex which is due to a slump. The malaise is usually sufficient to identify the vacuum to get rid. Is that not the case, then the frequency of thumb sucking can be determined (how many times a day will stop the child's thumb in his mouth), duration (eg since the age of one year), the duration of sucking (a hours or at most twenty minutes, when the child in his bed), the conditions and position of the thumb in the mouth (leverage, forward, backward, etc.).

A soft strategy

Before the age of three years should not intervene, but then the child must gradually change of habit.
The following tips can be useful to develop strategies for effective intervention.
The thumb is replaced by a pacifier, to find another occupation, avoiding certain situations (loneliness, stress , boredom, watching television, etc.), pay special attention at certain times etc.
It is necessary that the child receives the necessary explanations about the problem, it is sensitized to the consequences of bad habits and to reach an agreement with the child to stop.
Then follow the interactive approach where the child should feel supported and valued. It's hard to get rid of a habit, especially if a sense of security provided, and the child must know that it can count on your support and love. The parents must then show understanding and patience on the day can make.
  • Replace the habit through games, rhymes, drawings or other activities.
  • Reward the child for his actions instead of punishing. She can teach the child that only good behavior is valorized.
  • Write down on a calendar the days when progress was and the rewards and use it weekly.
  • Apply physical barriers such as a patch on the thumb. 
What you should know

The system of positive reinforcement (reward instead of punishment) and the involvement of children in learning new behavior gives the best results, although there a lot of patience.

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