Does your child rely heavily on a binkie or a blanket for security?
Do you find it difficult to get your child to stop sucking his or her thumb or using a pacifier?
Some people think the first step in dealing with your child's sucking habits is to ignore them, because most often those habits will stop on their own.
If your child sucks strongly on a pacifier or his thumb or fingers beyond 2 to 4 years of age, this behavior may affect the shape of his mouth or how his teeth are lining up.
However, if your child stops sucking on a pacifier or his thumb or fingers before his permanent front teeth come in, there's a good chance his bite will correct itself.
If the bite does not correct itself and the upper adult teeth are sticking out, orthodontic treatment may be needed to realign the teeth and help prevent broken front teeth.
Dr. Corinn Cross, MD, shares her best advice on helping your children through this difficult transition to independence.