Saturday, September 27, 2014

Finger Sucking Saga

My daughter has a mouth full of teeth.  She is an overachiever by growing her 3yr old molars just after she turned 2yrs.  At the last dental cleaning the kids dentist told me that I needed to start breaking her of sucking on her fingers, it's changing the shape of her palette.  It is pretty bad, her fingers have callouses.  I hadn't really thought about it before, and it looks like she's giving the "I love you" sign to everyone, but apparently, that's not good.

Lil' bit loves being a princess, so I told her that princesses don't suck their fingers.  No go.  Since they don't suck their fingers she won't be a princess.  I've pulled her fingers out of her mouth. Another no go.  Now she 'hides' it but covering the act with her other hand.  Hmm, NAILPOLISH!   That would be my answer.  What better thing for a girly-girl than to wear polish, she would never risk ruining it, right? Wrong.  It did last until she got sleepy, so that was an improvement.

What was I doing wrong?  We'd been working on this to no avail.  I did what any mom fearing thousands of dollars in orthodontics bills would do...I called the dentist.  They recommended putting socks on her hands and tying them on with pretty ribbons, special thumb sucking polishes, or if we wanted to go extreme - there are silicone finger covers you can order from Like this, Finger guard. Ok, now I had a some sort of direction to take.

I have cute little pink gloves that are just Lil' Bit's size.  Now this was her version of heaven!  They are pink, and she can wear them!!!  I was very proud of myself at this point.  She loved her gloves, she wanted to wear them.  But, when she wanted to suck on her fingers, off went the gloves.  I told her that she couldn't have them if she kept sucking on her fingers.  She decided that the gloves weren't that pretty after all.

Next, we moved on to Tabasco sauce.  This was sure to work.  I caught her sucking on her fingers, took her to the kitchen and explained that she was going to get sauce on her fingers because she was being 'yucky'.  She put the Tabasco coated fingers in her mouth, looked at her fingers and promptly sucked it all off and asked for more sauce.  After I was able to lift my jaw back into place I told her no, that she couldn't just drink her 'sauce'.

Fine, I bought some of this stuff, Mavala Stop.  It has extremely good reviews.  I got it.  I read the instructions saying that it would last for 2 days.  Yippee!  At first Lil Bit was unsure about it.  I thought that we had beat this.  One less thing that I would have to worry about.  But, Lil Bit is able to suck all of that stuff of in about 20 minutes flat.

I called the dentist back.  Now in my head, is that my daughter is going to have teeth that stick out everywhere, her fingers will remain calloused and her nails will curve the wrong way for the rest of her life!

I called the dentist again. I hear, Wow, she is a very tough case.  Keep trying the best you can, but as long as we get her over it before she's 5 yrs old, it shouldn't be too bad later.  This is where I want to scream.  Several months of trying to break this habit, and now Lil' Bit has dug in her heels because I pushed so hard.

Now, when I see her sucking on her fingers, I remind her that it's very yucky but I'm not stressing so much.  She will eventually stop.  I just pray that it's before any long term damage is caused.

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