Breaking oral habits at an early age is important for long-term dental health. Sucking habits, such as the thumb, finger, tongue, and pacifier sucking for extended periods may cause tooth and jaw developmental concerns. Dr. Angela Sharma recommends Habit Breaking Appliances to help break thumb, finger, tongue, and pacifier sucking habits.
Children often suck their thumbs and fingers starting at a very young age as a way for to sooth themselves. Most children learn to stop sucking habits on their own, but for many, it is very hard to break the habit on their own.
Children who suck their thumbs (or pacifiers) extended periods of time after their permanent teeth have developed may be prone to the following problems:
Jaw: Long-term thumb sucking may cause misalignment of the jaw.
Teeth: Persistent thumb sucking often leads to crooked teeth. The front teeth are most affected.
Bite: Thumb sucking causes concerns with how the teeth bite together. An open bite (the front teeth do not touch when biting down) and over bite (teeth protrude too far away from the lower teeth when biting down) affects the jaw, health of the teeth and facial aesthetics.
As your child gets older, the habit of thumb sucking becomes hard to break. Habit breaking appliances are an effective means for discouraging not only the thumb, but also pacifier, finger, and tongue sucking habits. Dr. Angela Sharma will evaluate your child to determine if a habit breaking appliance is the best course of action for your child.
To learn more about our habit breaking appliances, please contact our office to schedule your consultation at McKenzie Orthodontics!