What dental devices for thumb sucking are there?

 

Thumb sucking is a habit that continues to act as a cause of concern for parents of young children. While it is most likely for a child to let go of the habit by the age of four, some children tend to extend it beyond that, leading to dental and speech problems. There are two sets of approaches taken towards solving this issue: behavioral strategies that aim towards stopping the habit through measures taken at home, or oral devices that are fitted after consultation with a doctor. If you are a parent of such a child, and have been unsuccessful with all kinds of home remedies, then a dental device for thumb sucking is your next step towards breaking the habit.

Treat your child

The basic solution and dental device for thumb sucking provided by orthodontists is a “crib”. It is a semi-circular structure, comprising of steel wires and steel bands for the support of the wires, and is placed inside the child’s mouth, on the roof and behind its upper front teeth. Orthodontists have cribs designed in different ways for dissimilar structures of jaws. Once put in place, a crib is usually barely observable. It cannot be moved or removed by the child.

The child is most likely to feel a kind of soreness in his upper back teeth for some time and trouble with speech for the first few days. However, the child overcomes these problems quickly. It must be kept into consideration that caution needs to be taken after the installation of a crib. The child should not indulge in treating himself to sticky candies, chewing gums or other foods that may harm the braces. Moreover, he should also not try pulling out the crib, and brush after each meal to avoid infections and cavities.

Since the child is unable to touch the gums or roof of the mouth with his thumb, a crib removes the pleasure that a child derives from the habit, making such a dental device for thumb sucking effective.

Another dental device for thumb sucking is the thumb guard – safe, efficient and causes little discomfort and pain. A thumb guard, strapped to the wrist, consists of a plastic case that covers the thumb. By removing the vacuum created by sucking, the thumb guard eliminates the enjoyment and satisfaction that a child receives by thumb sucking. The thumb guard can be removed once the child stops sucking his thumb and reattached if the child makes such an attempt again.

 

 

Do not criticize

Thumb sucking is a habit that needs to be eliminated before it can cause any permanent damage to the child. This however, cannot be achieved without the support of the parents. Most parents avoid dental devices for thumb sucking due to the possibility of facing opposition from their child. These devices compiled with a loving, encouraging and positive attitude from the parents can successfully rid the child of its habit, without facing too much resistance or pressure from the child.

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