Many articles on this subject focus on talking to your child and offering positive reinforcement, but most toddlers are not interested giving up a constant source of pleasure. If you wait too long to stop the thumb and finger sucking, your child can have permanent changes to their jaw shape, bite, and teeth. Speech can also be affected, and many thumb suckers will need speech therapy. By age years, many thumb and finger sucking children have a gap between their upper and lower teeth and their jaw development has changed, often causing problems with speech. As a pediatrician, I was frustrated that there is little evidence-based research on effective techniques to stop thumb sucking and finger sucking. Most online articles focused on gentle strategies to quit sucking, like positive reinforcement, keeping little fingers busy with play and art, and helping your child understand why sucking is a bad habit.