Orthodontists like to emphasize the dangers of thumb sucking. But sucking his thumb met many natural needs of children. When is this habit harmless and when is it harmful?

Why suck his thumb babies?

Girl thumb sucking

Photo: © iStockphoto.com / binabina

"K o n r a d!" the woman said, Mom,
"I'll go out and you stay there.
Be pretty neat and pious,
'To go home I'll come back.
And above all, Konrad hear!
not suck his thumb more;
For the cutter with the shear '
Is otherwise quite fast, therefore,
And fingers crossed he cuts
From as if it were paper. '"
(The story of the thumb-sucker, Heinrich Hoffmann)

What are the causes for the Damuen suck?

When the tiny thumb of offspring for the most trusted friend is, parents do not immediately fall on alert, but their vigilance, they should not lose.

Even in infancy we experience that sucking at the breast a sweet happiness means. It is not just about food intake, just as important is the related experience of security, tranquility, proximity or even the perceived comfort. The realization of being loved and cared for, places the child at the way to develop confidence in his surroundings.

The sucking his thumb is not only satisfying the innate and natural sucking need the baby, it also satisfies the desire for the mentioned emotions. If there is no mother, for example, just the time to cuddle with her child, the thumb just what the doctor ordered. Some children satisfies the pacifier, others discover that her little fingers crossed that he is a constant companion anywhere, anytime tangible.

Thumb sucking: sleep aid or permanent condition?

In the first one and a half years of life (known as oral phase) is the mouth of the central organ of perception. "The Hand-mouth coordination (Interplay between hands and mouth) begins with the thumb-sucking in the womb. To play the child needs even after birth, especially the mouth and hands. This usually leads to a restriction of thumb sucking on rest periods", The pediatrician says Dr. Rudolf Weitz. A relaxed child playing in the fresh air, to engage in white or is employed by the parents, sucking forgets his thumb.

Suck: As a sleep aid not dangerous

Children who use the thumb-sucking as a sleep aid, as a bridge of boredom or relaxation current carriers are not at risk to suffer later from a deformation of the jaw and / or misaligned teeth. Parents should the Intensity and frequency eighth of Nuckelns, for these are the decisive factors.

to distinguish the satisfaction of normal Saugbedürfnisses from excessive thumb sucking, parents learn just by watching their child. As already mentioned, sucking his thumb is in "rest periods" no reason to worry. In contrast, if the child's thumb sucking prefers the active discovery and urge hours sucking.

Thumb sucking as protection against allergies?

According to a New Zealand study thumb sucking can not only soothe and employ, but even toughen children against allergies. In a long-term study, the researchers found that those children who are going about this habit later suffered less from allergies. And the assumption that the people who come into contact at a young age with dirt and bacteria are less at risk of allergies is also not new. Nevertheless, the authors of the study have also explicitly points out that the results are not encouraging for thumb sucking, as an actual health benefit has not been established. After all, intense thumb sucking may also have dental and jaw problems.

As thumb sucking on jaws and teeth can act

are the jawbone of an infant soft and malleable, the first erupting teeth strive rather disoriented in the air. The contact with the soft tissues (lips, tongue) determines the position of the teeth. The gentle pressure of the tongue forward and the lips backwards causes over the years, the alignment of the front teeth.

An overly frequent, very intense thumb sucking can the growth of both the teeth and the jaw harmful to health influence. Because "any deformation of the growing organism is accomplished by backpressure"Says Dr. Weitz. The thumb in the mouth can be the cause that the upper jaw is pointed and narrow pulled forward. Thereby the upper incisors align wrong. but it can also come to an open bite, ie the teeth diverge. The pressure which the thumb exerts pushes the upper teeth forward, the lower back.

Exaggerated sucking is a symptom

Is the need nursing sucking his thumb into a habit that does not drop the child after the age of three, parents should be careful to wean her child sucking, many orthodontists recommend. Important here is the causes of thumb sucking to get to the bottom, because no child sucking groundless. The child feels left alone, it lacks the necessary closeness and security, the thumb is sucked into a kind of a refuge. But overexertion and fatigue can hide behind it. Dr. Weitz points out that "sickly" Thumb sucking in children's daily life practice is not a real problem. But he also points out that excessive thumb sucking children should be introduced to the pediatrician.

How wean the thumb?

Under no circumstances should parents force their child to not sucking his thumb. And bitter-tasting creams are not a good solution. Simply by government grant may be give the child, after which it may be examined and allow him the thumbs suck wean. Important in this process are motivations - that is to praise the child when the thumb just do not put in the mouth. Some parents reward the progress of their little ones with a "Anti sucking Calendar". On the days when the Scion has not sucked his thumb, he can paint a sun in the corresponding calendar line. Oppositely acting punishment and blame. Intimidate the child and thus encourage thumb sucking.

Pacifier or thumb?

Many dentists believe that the pacifiers made of silicone or latex are orthodontic shaped than the thumb. Therefore, it is healthier to offer the child a pacifier. But here the views of physicians differ. For example, the pediatrician says Dr. Rudolf Weitz: "The thumb is 'bite-sized' and 'pine-shaping' in a positive sense than any industrial product in the world!" He justified his statement with the fact that even the unborn child sucking his thumb, but not a newborn with a "sucking teeth" is born.

However, it is undisputed that a pacifier can later be quite simply thrown away, perhaps even by the child itself. The thumb is and remains within reach. The cessation may succeed from the pacifier easier to remain at least parents several ways to make the pacifier unattractive. You can pierce the nipple, for example, the air escapes, and the child feels no more fun sucking.

Or maybe one night takes the "Soother" in the children's room and exchanged a beloved pacifier against a long-awaited gift. Few children are still willing to give her heroic acquired gift for another night with the pacifier again.