Thumb or Finger Sucking
It goes without saying that this is a difficult habit to curb since your child has access to their fingers and thumbs all the time! However, continuing this habit after the age of three can lead to misalignment of the front teeth and narrowing of the palate which may need orthodontic treatment.
It’s useful to gain insight as to when and why your child is finger or thumb sucking. Usually, this is an expression of an unconscious desire to soothe and cope with stress. It may also happen when your child is in a new environment, meeting new people, falling asleep or simply when they’re bored. Once this is recognized, help your child understand and recognize that their fingers or thumb are going into their mouth. From age three, children can start understanding cause and effect and this is when you can start talking to them about the eventual outcome of this habit.
If your child is willing to stop the habit and simply needs a reminder to take the thumb/finger out of their mouth, you may consider using sour nail polish (e.g. Mavala) or a thumb guard (e.g. Aero Thumb).