Various oral habits such as thumb sucking, finger biting, or finger sucking, tongue thrusting, lip biting, or lip sucking, bruxism, mouth breathing can have a significant effect on the alignment of your childs teeth. Numerous factors, like duration of the habit per day, degree, and intensity of habit, are responsible for any habit to produce detrimental and lasting effects. Dental changes due to thumb sucking or finger sucking do not need any treatment if the habit is stopped before the age of 5 years, and as soon as giving up the habit, dental changes will be corrected spontaneously.
Breaking Bad Habits the Old Fashioned Way
Your little one may develop any number of “bad” oral habits throughout childhood. Some of the most common include thumb or finger sucking, pacifier use, mouth breathing, and tongue thrusting (pushing the tongue against the teeth when swallowing). While they may not seem like that big of a deal at first, each habit affects the development of their mouth. You may try breaking these bad habits at home first.
Common ways to stop thumbsucking include applying a bad-tasting (but safe) solution to the thumbnail, or making your child wear a glove during sleep. These tactics work for some children, but most find ways around them and continue sucking comfortably.
Many children suck their thumbs when they are feeling anxious or afraid. Talk to your child about her feelings and try to help her understand that there is nothing to fear when you leave for work, for example. Giving her a teddy bear to squeeze when you depart may help take some of the focus away from the thumb.
Tongue thrusting requires retraining the way your child swallows — a mental task that is often very difficult for young children. Mouth breathing can be solved by treating stuffy sinuses.
But if you’ve tried everything and still haven’t had success, appliance therapy comes to the rescue.
Appliances that Break Bad Habits
Tongue crib appliances are extremely effective in breaking the tongue thrusting habit. Mouth breathing may not seem like too big of a problem, but it actually robs your child of oxygen and affects their sleep too. This can be treated with a Mouth Breathing Appliance.
We can recommend interceptive orthodontics along with appliance therapy to limit or even prevent the need for future orthodontic work. .
Schedule an Appointment Today!
Can’t break your little one’s persistent oral habit? Let us help. We will examine your child’s mouth and thoroughly discuss with you which interceptive orthodontic treatments are necessary.