June 15, 2017
Are you concerned about an oral habit your child just can’t quit? If we’re talking about thumbsucking or mouth breathing, you shouldn’t worry too much — it’s nothing all that unusual. Like a fear of the dark or a love of pb & j, most children have at least one of these oral habits. The important thing is finding a solution before they affect the development of their smile. Your Southlake dentist, Dr. Preetha Thomas, provides help with habit-breaking appliances. Interceptive orthodontics may be necessary to guide the formation of the mouth, too.
Common Oral Habits in Children (And Their Effects)
Three of the most common oral habits across children of all ages and backgrounds include…
- Thumbsucking. Most kids are prone to suck their thumbs when they feel scared or anxious, like maybe when they’re getting dropped off at daycare. As a soothing motion, most kids will also suck their thumbs to go to sleep. Thumbsucking affects the development of the roof of the mouth and can cause future alignment issues in the teeth. Kids who suck their thumbs are also often tongue thrusters.
- Tongue thrusting. If your child has a lisp when pronouncing words with “s,” or if you can often see their tongue when they speak, he or she is likely a tongue thruster. This habit affects the alignment of the teeth, preventing the top and bottom teeth from meeting, and delaying proper speech development.
- Mouth breathing. Mouth breathing can occur due to allergies or issues with the sinuses. Unfortunately, inhibited breathing robs a child’s brain of oxygen throughout the day and during sleep, affecting their overall development.
How Habit-Breaking Appliances Help
You can always try helping your child break habits the natural way, maybe by applying a bad-tasting solution to the thumb before sleep, or getting them to wear a glove at night. These tactics work for some, but many kiddos will find ways around them. Mouth breathing can be solved by treating stuffed up sinuses. Because it requires retraining the way the tongue moves, tongue thrusting always require a bit of professional help for kids. That’s where habit-breaking appliances come in.
A couple of the habit-breaking appliances available at Enclave Dental:
- A tongue-thrusting device that prevents the tongue from pressing up against the front teeth when the child swallows.
- A device that widens the upper palate to open up the sinuses and prevent mouth breathing.
Where Interceptive Orthodontics Come Into Play
Dr. Thomas may recommend interceptive orthodontics alongside a habit-breaking appliance. With this approach, she can guide the development of your child’s bite while it’s easiest to intervene — before the jaw has completely formed. Interceptive orthodontics can greatly reduce future orthodontic treatment times. In the best cases, it can eliminate the need for braces in adolescence altogether.
Who’s the Dentist Near Me for Interceptive Ortho?
If your child is a thumbsucker, mouthbreather, or tongue thruster, don’t wait to let the action take a toll on their mouth. Dr. Thomas can help break the habit and guide the development of their smiles — reducing or possibly eliminating the need for future orthodontic treatment. Request an appointment to learn about habit-breaking appliances today!
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.