Young children often develop certain habits as a response to various stimuli. For example, a child who experiences stress might suck their thumb as a way of comforting themselves. Thumb-sucking, lip-sucking, and tongue-thrusting are common habits prevalent in children below the age of five.
While these habits are mostly harmless in younger children, they can cause complications if they don’t self-correct by a certain age.
Habit control appliances, also known as habit breakers or habit correction appliances, are devices that discourage certain harmful habits by making it impossible or uncomfortable to engage in that particular habit.
Our pediatric dentist carefully evaluates each patient to determine if they’re a suitable candidate for habit correction appliances in Great Neck, NY. The dentist will be keen to understand the duration, frequency, and intensity of the habit. Our children’s dentist also checks for problems such as anterior tooth displacement, palatal changes, and thumb irritation.
After a comprehensive consultation with the patient and parent, our pediatric specialist maps out a personalized treatment plan to help the child break their habit.
If the patient is a good candidate for a habit control appliance, the next step involves making a model of your child’s bite to create a custom device that will help them overcome their habit. Thumb-sucking is usually controlled via a device that attaches behind the upper teeth. This appliance works by making it impossible for your child to reach the roof of their mouth using their thumb. This way, thumb-sucking becomes a less pleasurable experience, and over time your child overcomes their habit.
If your child likes to thrust their tongue, our kids’ dentist may recommend a device that inhibits this type of tongue movement. The habit eventually disappears within several months.
Thumb-sucking and tongue-thrusting usually self-correct as the child gets older. However, in some instances, this isn’t the case. Suppose your child’s habit extends beyond a particular age. In that case, there’s a high probability of them developing ongoing issues such as bite problems (open bite and flared teeth), speech abnormalities, and chewing difficulties.
Getting your child’s habit checked in good time is essential for their continued oral and overall well-being.
Reach out to Great Neck Dental Associates, Mid-Island Dental Associates, and Kid Island Dental today to find out if your child is a candidate for habit control appliances in Great Neck, NY.