How to prevent the habit from returning

The treatment is over, you completed the 30 days, and you removed the TGuard. Fingers crossed, you wait and see….and then you are excited to find that your child is completely over the habit!


Many parents wonder if their child will go back to thumb or finger sucking, and unfortunately, that possibility exists. However, if you know why they relapse, you can help prevent it from happening. Avoid the following as long as possible after treatment:

1. Stress

Children engage in the habit as a means to relax when they are stressed. Throughout the course of treatment, they learn to cope with their stress without resorting to thumb sucking, which is good. But a great deal of stress can be too much to handle, and the child may instinctively go back. Examples of such triggers could be anything from moving houses, to major disruptions in the family (such as a divorce, or a new child being born). Another example can be as simple as starting a new year at school. Even catching a cold or other sickness can restart the habit. What ever the reason, keep in mind that stress can trigger the habit, and if you cannot prevent the stress, be ready to spot the habit if it does come back, for another bout of treatment.

2. Other children who suck their thumbs or fingers

If your child is over the habit, they can relapse back by simply mimicking a peer or sibling who is sucking their thumbs or fingers. Many children seek acceptance by “following the crowd”, or by copying what their role models do. If the person they look up to happens to actively suck their thumbs or fingers, it is possible that the child can copy them, and relearn the habit once more.

3. A lingering oral fixation

Sometimes we think we have beat the habit, when in fact a secondary habit still persists: the desire to have something in the mouth. If the child is chewing on the device, and you remove the device, guess what? There is a good chance that they will begin chewing on their thumbs or fingers, and eventually that chewing will be replaced with sucking.


If you can avoid these things, there is a very good chance your children will never suck their thumbs or fingers again, and you would become another success story. However, sometimes its out of our control. If the child’s habit does return, don’t delay: start treatment again immediately.


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.

We would love to hear your story; share your experience with us!

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