What can you expect during Treatment?
Thumb sucking is a very tough habit to break, and in some cases, is a habit that, for many children, has been a source of comfort since birth. The first few days without the ability to self-soothe will be the hardest, so we would recommend starting on a weekend. Your child can be moodier than usual, throw temper tantrums, and even hurt themselves in an effort to remove the appliance. However, this is all temporary, and within 5 days of uninterrupted treatment, the child has already beat 90% of the habit. After these 5 days, the child will be much more cooperative with the treatment. Continue the treatment for the full 30 days, and, assuming you have not seen your child put their thumbs or fingers in the mouth for at least a week, it is safe to remove the appliance as the treatment is finished.
If you want to minimize the crankiness, it is best to get your child on board with treatment as much as possible. You can do this by providing incentives to stop (toys, trips, etc) at various times during and after treatment. Also, if your child is old enough, you can sit with them and explain to them why it would be a good idea to stop, such as to keep their teeth pretty, to prevent them from catching colds, and for them to become a “big kid”. Children who want to stop have a much easier time with the treatment.
However, even if the child wants to stop, it can still be difficult. We recommend keeping the child busy / distracted during the first 5 days, and at nap or bedtime, stay strong! In the worst cases, they may really show how upset they are with you, but this is temporary. Furthermore, it is a necessary step to stop the habit, and would be encountered no matter which treatment method you choose. Be firm and know that it only lasts for a few days.
This page is based on the TGuard Treatment Coach series of informative and timely tips designed to help you break the habit, after you have purchased the kit.
Related articles in this series: Treatment Tips, What about Chewing?