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An oral fixation gets out of hand
Q: My 5-year-old puts things in his mouth—everything from toys to money and clothes. I spoke to his doctor when he was 3, and she indicated that some children are more orally fixated than others, and this is his way of exploring. But it has becoming a dirty habit because he puts things in his mouth that have been on the floor. I try to remind him not to do this, but he continues. He even has small chips in his front baby teeth. What can I do? His father and I are recently divorced and are both living with other people.
A: The fact that your son has chips in his front teeth tells me that this is a deeply embedded pattern and one that requires professional help. I urge you to ask your pediatrician for a recommendation of an experienced child psychologist. I also urge you and your husband to go together for the first session to provide the psychologist with a complete history of the problem. I hope you follow my advice because this is generally not the kind of problem that just disappears. Good luck!
Kenneth N. Condrell Ph.D Child Psychologist