Thumb sucking, nail biting, and lip chewing are very common bad habits, especially among children. Here are some strategies to help stop the problem.
Unfortunately my poor little daughter has a lip biting problem. It’s been going on for about 6 months now, and as much as she would like to stop she’s having a hard time with it. I’ve asked her dentist and her doctor, and both of them seemed to think that she would stop when winter came and made it uncomfortable due to dry and cracked lips. Nope. It just made it hurt but didn’t deter her. In fact, it seemed to make her bite them even more because they were so dry.
I’ve been doing a little research on the problem, and have come up with some common solutions to try and correct thumb sucking, nail biting, lip chewing. While they are all a little different, they are all bad habits that aren’t good for the lips or teeth. Here are some ideas:
- Talking it out. Sometimes these problems are due to stress, and if you can relieve some of the stress and worry then the problem goes away naturally.
- Put on lip balm, lip gloss, or lipstick. You’re more likely to stop and think before you bite or chew if you have one of these on your lips. And as an added bonus the lip balm can help heal your lips if they are dry from the biting.
- Nagging can help. Normally I don’t advocate nagging, but sometimes (at least in my daughter’s case) she wasn’t realizing that she was biting her lips. Whenever I see her biting her lip I just say “LIP!” and she stops. It’s cut down on the lip biting by a small amount.
- Medication. Well, not quite medication. I finally ordered a product called Mavala, and it’s mainly used for thumb sucking and nail biting, but I figured that it would work for the lip chewing as well. It looks and smells just like nail polish, and you paint it on. It’s supposed to last 2-3 per application and tastes really really bad. This has cut down on the lip chewing by about 80%. It’s a work in progress…
I hope that you found this article helpful to stop the thumb sucking, nail biting, and lip chewing. It’s a really hard habit to break. I sucked my thumb much longer than it was acceptable. In the end, my dad bribed me with a really expensive electronic to stop sucking my thumb. That gives you an idea of how old I was…Good luck.