Habit Breaking Appliances

Certain oral habits can lead to tooth alignment problems, especially when the habits aren’t addressed in the early stages of childhood. Common issues include tongue thrusting or thumb sucking. While it might be cute to see a small child sucking their thumb, these habits can cause dental issues later in life.

At Advanced Orthodontics, we offer support to help children break these bad habits. A variety of oral appliances can be used to avoid damage in the future and ensure that the jaw bone is growing with the right alignment.

Common Types of Habit Breaking Appliances

Here are some of the most common appliances used to break oral habits:

  • Thumb and Finger Sucking: This habit is quite common in childhood and is often used as a self-soothing technique. Some children stop the habit naturally as they grow, but others require a little more support to break the habit. It is important that thumb or finger sucking ceases before the permanent teeth start to grow in. Dental appliances can be used to inhibit the child’s ability to such the finger/thumb, and can range from simple reminders to aggressive solutions that block the thumb/finger if needed.
  • Space Maintainers: When a gap is present in the mouth, sometimes it can cause nearby teeth to crowd or shift irregularly. Space maintainers can be beneficial to hold the area open, allowing the permanent teeth to grow in correctly.
  • Tongue Thrusting: Children who talk with a lisp often have problems with tongue thrusting. Or tongue thrusting might be present without the lisp and lead to other issues such as an open bite (preventing the top and bottom teeth from coming together). When a child has a tongue thrusting habit, a tongue crib can be used to create a healthier biting pattern.

Customized Solutions for Breaking Habits

If your child doesn’t grow out of a bad habit between the ages of 2 – 4, then we invite you to talk to our experienced team about possible appliances that can be used. In most cases, habit breaking can be done in just a few weeks or months. When the habit is eliminated, there is no longer a need to use the dental appliance.

For more information, call us at Advanced Orthodontics. We will schedule a consultation, so you have an opportunity to discuss your concerns with a knowledgeable team.

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