What factors should be considered when the treatment plan for a thumb sucking patient is decided? These factors help us to decide the approach of the treatment. If the child is not motivated properly there is no use of starting with the treatment.

There are various treatment consideration for the thumb sucking. These are:

Psychological Factors

Before starting with the treatment, we should be sure of the cause of the habit. Dentist should try to find out whether the thumb sucking is meaningful or the empty habit. It means he child sucks the thumb just because he is habitual of sucking it or there is some underlying cause for that like the child feels lonely or he is under some kind of stress. If there is some underlying cause then that should be dealt before starting with the treatment.

Age factor

Before starting with the treatment age of the child should also be taken into consideration. If the child is upto 3 years of age no treatment is done because it is considered to be normal habit for that age and any harm done is self correcting.But if the child continues with the habit even afterwards then the habit is considered harmful and we try to break the thumb sucking habit.

Willingness of the child to stop the habit

It is the most important factor for the success or failure of the treatment of the habit. If the child himself wants to stop the habit and takes the initiative then the treatment becomes very easy. But if your child is not willing to stop, therapy is not usually indicated. Pressure you apply to stop the habit may only lead to resistance and lack of cooperation.

Parent’s attitude
Parents’ attitude is also important. The parents must talk to the child about the habit and motivate him to stop the habit. If the parents instead of encouraging the child discourage him by criticizing him and insulting him then the treatment for the thumb sucking habit becomes very difficult. In such cases parents’ counseling also becomes important. The role of parents is simply that of an empathetic and positive support system.

Other factors

Some other factor like duration for which the habit is practiced, intensity and the frequency also influence the treatment. In some cases along with thumb sucking other habits like tongue thrusting, mouth breathing and lip biting are also present. So these factors should also be considered while doing the treatment of thumb sucking.


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