Thumb sucking variables include:
If all efforts have been exhausted to stop the habit, an appliance can be fabricated to help break a thumb or finger sucking habit. It will, however, not prevent placement of t the thumb or finger into the mouth, but it will act as a deterrent to stop the habit. The appliance is cemented into place and is traditionally worn for 6-9 months. Consult with your pediatric dentist about the different options available for thumb-sucking appliances.
Common problems caused by thumb sucking:
For infants, try a pacifier. Pacifiers do not cause less damage, but it is easier to control a pacifier than a thumb when it comes to phasing it out. (Research indicates that no one particular kind of pacifier is superior to another.) For the child over five, explain the risks, offer rewards, and provide reminders such as nail polish or a band-aids. Avoid scolding or punishment can evolve into a form of negative attention. The child may need some emotional support, so be prepared to spend a little extra time with him or her.
A long-term habit such as sucking on a finger or a thumb can be difficult for a child to stop. These habits past the age of 2-3 can have long term effects on tooth position and developing jaw alignment. The degree of disruption depends on several factors, such as how forceful the habit is, how often, and up to what age the habit is continuing.
Strategies for resolving thumb sucking:
Thumb sucking appliance
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