A tongue crib is an oral dental appliance used to help break habits in patients. It is specifically helpful for children who have developed tongue thrusting habits or thumb sucking, which are unlikely to be diagnosed for a long time and need help rectifying later in life.
Why Should Tongue Thrust Needs Treatment?
Tongue Thrusting is the action of sticking the tongue forward to sit between the teeth and lips when swallowing. This constant pressure of the tongue will cause the misalignment of the teeth. Further, the pressure applied during swallowing and nervous thrusting also pushes the tongue against the teeth while it is at rest. The act of thrusting your tongue against your teeth is a spontaneous, involuntary action that can be pretty challenging to correct.
One might tend to think that thrusting the tongue in and out of the mouth is not harmful at all. But like thumb sucking, if the habit is allowed to carry on, the oral health is affected. The muscles grow and adapt contrarily to how they are supposed to and open the mouth to more bacteria and cavities.
What Are the Causes of Tongue Thrusting?
There are several causes for tongue thrusting, such as:
- It may be caused due to excessive and continued thumb sucking.
- Nasal congestion, allergies, or any other impediments may also lead to tongue-thrusting habits.
- The artificial nipples used for feeding infants could be a contributing factor in tongue thrusting.
- If you have conditions such as adenoids, tonsils, or sore throats will also experience difficulty in swallowing.
- The habit could also be due to an enormous tongue or muscular, neurological, or other physiological anomalies.
- The practice may be due to the angle of the jawline or other hereditary factors within a family.
How Does a Tongue Crib Work?
A tongue crib is an appliance secured inside the oral cavity and held by two rings. The rings are attached to the inside of the mouth so that the tongue crib does not move. This act also helps avert the tongue from pushing against the teeth and causing further issues. Primarily it puts an end to tongue thrusting and front teeth protrusion. Next, it reduces the effects of thumb sucking and the use of a pacifier.
A tongue crib is secured on the first molars of the jaw and should be worn at all times to show its results. Depending on the condition's severity, a child can wear it for a few months if necessary. It has similar wiring as those of braces, but it is not fixed.
If you are interested in learning more about the tongue crib, visit us at Full Smile Orthodontics, at 6965 El Camino Real #201, Carlsbad, CA 92009, or call us at (760) 804-0080 and schedule an appointment