How to stop lip sucking or chewing habit in children

Many children develop habits like pulling hair, biting, stretching on the floor, thumb sucking etc. in the earlier years. These habits normally remain fora short period. Some common bad habits include, hitting, nail biting, picking of the nose or lip licking or chewing.

Lip sucking or chewing

How to stop thumb sucking habit in children

Lip licking is a common habit in toddlers when they want to moisten their dry lips. It takes place when the child is under mental pressure like stress. Lip sucking is done by the child without him being aware of it.

Causes of lip sucking habit

  • Children normally tend to suck their lower lip when they are in a new environment and need mental concentration and attention to learn the stressful new environment.
  • This may become a habit after sometime and may continue even the stressful environment is no longer there.
  • Dryness, chapped lips or rough skin on the lips also initiate the child to suck his lip to keep them even.
  • Children are minute observers of the activities of adults. If anyone in the family has the habit of chewing lips the child can easily pick up the habit.

Health problem of lip sucking habit

Constant licking can redden and injure the lips and skin around the mouth. The area around the mouth is at greater risk to infection of the skin. Normally a red ring is formed around the mouth.

Ways to help the child

Best good habits for children

  • Most of the time the habit of lip sucking is temporary and may go away on its own. But if the habit causes some type of physical harm to the lips and mouth, some action must be taken
  • Do not make the child conscious of the chewing habit. Instead apply some balm or cream over the affected area twice a day. This will soothe the lips and he will stop chewing the skin that is no longer dry and chapped.
  • The child need to remind gently that sucking the lips may spoil the shape of the lips.
  • The child develops emotional stability when supported with love and patience. Have faith in the child and give him an opportunity to make decisions
  • Divert the attention of the child to other activities which may change the thinking in the mind.
  • Praise the child when he is not sucking the lips. He may be awarded at times.
  • Constant cheek biting at the age of three may lead to teeth problems, hence a dentist need to be consulted.
  • If the reason of cheek biting is found to be anxiety a psychiatrist must be consulted. He may advice some simple ways to get over the habit.
  • There is no single solution to get rid of lip sucking habit. Many tricks can be tried, and maybe some of them will work. As seen kids are unaware of the activity they are indulged in. They must be given awareness of the actions done by them which is sure to break the cycle.
  • The best way is to adapt another habit or divert the attention from lip biting to some other smoother activity.
  • Another method is to give lot of water to the child so that the lips do not irritate him.

Best eye care tips for children

  • Apply Vitamin E oil on the lips every night to keep them soft and smooth. Balm can also be used for this purpose.
  • In case the habit is due to stress which is normally the case with children at the age of three. The best solution in this case is to ignore it. More attention, care, worry or medicines applied on the lips will make the child repeat the action more. His awareness of the action with attention makes him feel embarrassed at his own actions. The habit may take a few weeks or few months but will surely go away when the situations of distress are reduced. This type of stress is related to moving of homes, schools or death in the family.

Lip sucking or lip chewing is a bad habit which is difficult to break. But by adopting several methods it will not remain an impossible task. Chewing or sucking lip habit can be broken by keeping patience and giving time for it goes away on its own.

Ways to stop sucking and chewing habit in children

Stop sucking habit program

A special program is developed by the experienced professionals for your children who have a bad habit of sucking. The program is specially designed by keeping in mind about the little children. It covers and resolves the issue of thumb sucking, dummy sucking and tongue sucking and any other substance. There are educational programs which will be fun loving and is also accepted by kids with the habit of sucking.

Diverting mind

Health care tips for kids

Mothers are quite sure about the likes and dislikes of their kids. So, whenever you see your kid is sucking or chewing goes ahead with some activity or an object he is having inclination. While playing and concentrating on that, you can easily be successful in taking him away from the habit of sucking and chewing. This is one of the wonderful way through which you can easily go ahead with diverting the mind of your child and temporarily postpone the chewing habit.

Explaining your child

If your child is big enough such that he can understand, go ahead with some explanation. You must explain your child about the consequence of chewing lips and thumb. The ill effect of this habit can also get the fear inside their mind. As a result he can stay away from the action of chewing. Some kids can remember just for the first time if you explain him about the ill effect of chewing. The fear will help them remove this habit.

Apply bitter juice

You must be aware about the body parts and substances that is been chewed by your kid. You need to take those things or organs such as lips, thumb etc and wittily apply the edible bitter juice. You can try the juice of bitter gourd and see the difference. Your child will absolutely carry on with the habit once again. That will be the time he will get the bitter taste and stop. Do this 2- 3 times and then your child will get the lesson and stop the habit.

Give him sometime

How to stop bedwetting in children

Sometimes the habits which your kid develops may not last for a long time. It stays for some months and years but after that it gets away. Even this can be the case for your child. So, it is better you take some time and wait till your baby automatically leaves the habit. Once he is attached to his friends circle, he will see his friends are not sucking thumb or lips. This will make her ashamed and slowly this will help him stay away from the habit of thumb sucking. So, just chill and wait till your child acts.


• What strategies can be used to stop lip sucking or chewing in children?

Encouraging positive reinforcement and distraction techniques, such as offering rewards or redirecting their attention to another activity, can help to stop lip sucking or chewing in children.

• How can parents encourage children to break the habit of lip sucking or chewing?

Parents can encourage children to break the habit of lip sucking or chewing by setting positive reinforcement and providing consistent reminders to help them remember to stop.

• When does lip sucking or chewing become a problem?

Lip sucking or chewing can become a problem when it becomes a compulsive habit that interferes with everyday activities.

• Are there any medical treatments available to help stop lip sucking or chewing in children?

Yes, there are a variety of treatments available for lip sucking or chewing in children, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, habit reversal training, and therapeutic intervention.

• What can parents do to help children recognize when they are engaging in lip sucking or chewing?

Parents can encourage children to become more aware of their habits by providing positive reinforcement when they are not engaging in lip sucking or chewing.

• What are the psychological effects of lip sucking or chewing in children?

The psychological effects of lip sucking or chewing in children can include low self-esteem, social anxiety, and feelings of shame or embarrassment.

• Does lip sucking or chewing increase the risk of certain dental or oral health issues?

Yes, lip sucking or chewing can cause dental issues such as chapped lips, malformed teeth, and misalignment of the teeth. It can also lead to more serious problems like infection of the gums, jaw misalignment, and TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder).

• Is lip sucking or chewing a sign of an underlying emotional issue?

No, lip sucking or chewing is not necessarily a sign of an underlying emotional issue; it can simply be a habit or coping mechanism.
It is possible, but it is not necessarily the case. Some people may do these behaviors as a habit or out of boredom, but it is important to be aware of your own behavior and consult a professional if you feel it is indicative of an underlying issue.

• How can parents help children build self-confidence to stop the habit of lip sucking or chewing?

Parents can help by providing positive reinforcement and reassurance to their children when they are able to break the habit.

• Are there any age-appropriate activities that can help children break the habit of lip sucking or chewing?

Yes, some activities that can help children break the habit of sucking or chewing their lips include playing with play dough, drawing, puzzles, and other activities that require concentration and focus.