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Treatment for Thumb Sucking Habit


Oral habits in children are a concern for both parents and pediatric dentists. They may be a part of normal development; a symptom with a deep rooted psychological basis or may be the result of abnormal facial growth. Pediatric dentists see in these habits as harmful unbalanced pressures resulting in changes in position of teeth, jaw and its growth. Abnormal oral habits include thumb-sucking, mouth breathing, lip trapping and biting, chin propping, bruxism (tooth grinding and clinching)

Thumb sucking has been described as a common childhood behavior, manifestation or habit that is considered normal up to age 3 – 4 years. The risks associated with thumb sucking depend on frequency, intensity, duration and position of the digit in the mouth. The child tends to suck his/her thumb during sleep, watching television, sitting ideal or alone at home. Management of thumb-sucking habit includes counseling, home remedies and fixed habit breaking appliance worn for a period of minimum six months.

Tongue thrust (also called "reverse" or "immature" swallow) is a human behavioral pattern in which the tongues protrudes through the front of the teeth during swallowing, speech and while the tongue is at rest. If a person suffers from tongue thrusting the continual pressure tends to force the teeth out of alignment.

Mouth breathing is habitual respiration through the mouth instead of the nose. Enlarged tonsils, adenoids or nasal polyp can lead to habit of mouth breathing.

If you need further assistance to explain the process of breaking such deleterious oral habits, Please ask. We are here to help answer those questions.