9 year old still thumb sucking

My 9 year old is still sucking his thumb and biting his nails. The thumb sucking is primarily when he’s zoned out and tired/sleeping. The nail biting is pretty much all other times. We’ve tried the bitter nail paint, we’ve tried sour/hot sauces, we’ve told him and shown him the impact it’s having on his teeth and mouth structure. Every time we see it we ask him to do something else (redirect the behavior).
Someone mentioned maybe chewlery would be a good alternative for him… any thoughts on chewlery or other suggestions for getting him to stop?

Hi! Sugar free gum would be a great socially appropriate substitute for his biting his nails! The thumb sucking sounds like he doesn’t even know he does it, since he’s zoning out. Maybe drawing attention to it and redirecting to another behavior for self-soothing? Like squeezing his hands or rubbing his wrists?

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I’m not sure how well a 9yo would do with it, but we used an armband product called Nipit with our son when he was 4.5 and it worked great. It goes on the elbow so that it can’t fully bend to the mouth, but we liked it better than the thumb guards bc it left his hands free to play. With our 4yo we told him it was a magic robot arm that gave him the ability to give supercharged high-fives, then we had a sticker chart. It probably only took about 5 days to break the habit, but we still did it for several weeks to be sure. I think with a 9yo you wouldn’t have to be goofy since they’d get the chart better and this would just aid in breaking the mindless side of it. We will need it for our 3yo too! Worth the investment!

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Hi @Crazymamaof4-When children are thumb sucking or nail biting, there is usually an underlying physiological cause, such as low muscle tone, tongue tie, enlarged adenoids, or high palate. Without addressing the underlying issue, it will be difficult to eliminate thumb sucking. I have more information on this on my website www.jocelynmwood.com

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When my youngest brother had trouble stopping thumb sucking and he wanted to stop but had trouble, my uncle who is an orthodontist was able to use an appliance with him so he didn’t get the gratification from thumb sucking. This was 30ish years ago so not sure if its even still an option.

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His orthodontist did talk about doing this next year if he hasn’t stopped, so it’s definitely still available!

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Interesting! I’ve never heard this before in all my inquiring! I’m definitely going to look into this. Thank you!

We did try stick charts and positive reinforcement when he was younger but never with a band. I ordered a band and will start the reward chart again, maybe now that he is older he will actually take to the reward system better!