Baby sucking his lips : SOS Moms Reply

Kanika Modi’s son has a habit of sucking his lips. Her 3 year old son does not listen to her and his lip is swollen.

Lip sucking involves repeatedly holding the lower lip beneath the upper front teeth. Sucking of the lower lip may occur by itself or in combination with thumb sucking. This practice results in an overbite and the same kinds of problems as discussed with thumb sucking. Lip sucking gives children a sense of emotional security and comfort. The lips are supplied with a tremendous density of sensory nerves that send pleasure sensations to the brain. However, if lip sucking continues beyond the age of 5, when the permanent teeth begin to come in, dental problems may occur. Depending on the frequency, intensity, and duration of the sucking, the teeth can be pushed out of alignment, causing them to protrude and create an overbite. The child may also have difficulty with the correct pronunciation of words. In addition, the upper and lower jaws can become misaligned and the roof of the mouth might become malformed.

Lip biting in a child would likely be related to the position of his upper and lower dental arch. If the lower jaw is significantly smaller than the upper there is an anatomical positioning of the upper arch over the lower lip that looks like biting. This would be genetic and could only be addressed when he is much older.

How can this habit be cured

  • It must be your child’s decision, to stop sucking their lips before the habit will cease. To help toward this goal, parents and family members can offer encouragement and positive reinforcement. Because sucking is a security mechanism, negative reinforcement (such as scolding, nagging, or punishments) are generally ineffective, making children defensive and driving them back to the habit.
  • Instead, give praise or rewards for successfully avoiding the habit.
  • To help older children break the habit, parents should try to determine why their child is doing it — find out what stresses your child faces and try to correct the situation. Once the problem is gone, the child often finds it is easier to give up sucking.
  • To prevent their children from sucking their lips we can use some harsh techniques like applying neem oil or Castor oil, the child will stop sucking due to the bitter taste.
  • If your child is sucking lip due of boredom, try getting the child’s attention with a fun activity.
  • If your child’s skin is dry try the application of petroleum jelly or ghee on the lips to keep it moisturized

Special thanks to all expert moms

Gunjan Soni Gandhi, Rangajaba Hait, Alka Bagga, N Mukesh Vyas, Nisha Doshi, Rashmi Kabibar Padhan, Soni Tandon Judt, Rekha Vaz, Mahathi Ramakrishna, Shruti Khanna Soin, Smita Choudhary, Sakshi Batra, Kishu Sachin Wadhwa, Misha Bhattal, Sushma Prabhu, Kamalpreet Kaur, Radhika Dhanrajani, Shradha Goyal, Amita Gupta, Sneha Maheshwari, Hema Priya, Aishwarya Rajkumar, Sudeshna Patnaik.


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