Thumb-sucking habits are typical reflexes from birth to three years of age. But if the habit continues even after age five, there are chances of an increase in oral complications. A thumb sucking appliance is an oral dental device that helps break children's persistent thumb sucking habit.
At Full Smile Orthodontics, we recommend a thumb-sucking appliance to break this harmful habit. But before the fabrication of the appliance is done, a complete diagnosis of your child's thumb-sucking habit must be made. The habit can be stopped over time by constantly wearing the appliance.
What Are the Benefits of a Thumb Appliance?
There are several benefits of wearing a thumb-sucking appliance.
- A thumb-sucking habit tips back the lower teeth, flares the upper teeth, and compresses the upper arch. Hence, correcting a thumb-sucking practice early enough will allow the proper development of the upper jaw and allow the front teeth to return to their usual positions.
- Thumb suckers might get psychologically affected by how their habit changes their teeth and bite. The stopping of a thumb-sucking habit gives a significant boost to the child's confidence and self-esteem.
- The variations in the teeth's positioning can make it very difficult to speak and bite into food. As a result, many thumb suckers desperately want to break their habit but require help to come out of it.
- It helps prevent the skeletal and dental changes that a prolonged thumb-sucking habit can cause.
How Do the Thumb Appliances Work?
The thumb appliances work by restricting the thumb contact with the roof of the mouth. When the crib creates an obstruction, the child will not be able to suck their thumb, and gradually the desire to suck their fingers will decrease, and the habit will go away. Another common habit among young children is the recurring feeling of thrusting the tongue toward their teeth. This is a primitive action for infant feeding, as tongue thrusting is required to swallow at this stage of life. This habit can also cause similar issues like thumb sucking.
The first step to getting fitted with a thumb appliance is to get a detailed checkup, including capturing X-rays and dental impressions. With the help of these impressions, a crib will be custom-made to fit your child's mouth and done at the following appointment. Afterward, the child will be monitored regularly until the appliance is removed.
What Are the Types of Thumb Appliances?
The primary benefit of a removable appliance is that it can be removed to facilitate eating and cleaning the teeth and gums.
These appliances cannot be removed except by a dentist, forcing habitual thumb suckers to stop this habit. However, since they are non-removable, it may be challenging for a child to perform normal mouth functions.
If you are interested in learning more about thumb appliances, visit us at Full Smile Orthodontics in 6965 El Camino Real #201, Carlsbad, CA 92009, or call us at (760) 804-0080 and schedule an appointment.