In order to help the child stop the thumb/finger sucking habit, the underlying cause should be considered.
The child should not be scolded for thumb sucking, instead praise the child for not doing so.
Children often suck their fingers when they feel insecure. Focus on correcting the cause of anxiety and comfort the child.
Positive reinforcement is a kind of habit breaking practice by rewarding the child when he or she avoids thumb sucking during a difficult period.
The dentist also can encourage the child to stop sucking his or her thumb and explain what could happen to the teeth if it continues.
If these approaches do not work, remind your child of the habit by bandaging the thumb or putting a sock over the hand at night.
If the thumb sucking persists after 4 years of age, talk to your child’s dentist or pediatrician. He or she can prescribe a mouth appliance or a medication with which to coat the thumb to prevent the thumb sucking.