Thumb and Finger Appliance

While it may be completely natural for children in the first few years of their life to suck their thumbs or fingers to comfort themselves, prolonged thumb-sucking can inhibit proper jaw growth and lead to jaw malfunctions that can be painful and expensive for your child to live with. Here at Choice Orthodontics, your local orthodontist in Savannah, MO, our early orthodontic treatment is designed to help our young patients get on the path to having healthy and straight teeth well into their adult lives, and part of that means preventing thumb sucking habits from damaging their teeth and jaw. Luckily, we have a number of treatments for thumb sucking habits, which we have explained below. Check out this quick guide to thumb and finger appliances to make sure your child doesn’t overdo it when it comes to sucking their thumb!

What Is A Habit Appliance?

Because of the conditions that develop as a result of prolonged thumb sucking habits, our Savannah orthodontics team has chosen to offer habit appliances to help curb our young patients’ thumb sucking. The appliance is much like a retainer that a patient would wear after having their teeth straightened with braces or Invisalign, but instead of holding teeth in place the appliance just covers the roof of the mouth. The pleasure of thumb sucking comes from the finger coming in contact with the sensitive roof of the child’s mouth, so removing that pleasure often leads to the habit’s end. During a quick visit to your local orthodontist in Savannah, MO, we can get your child fitted for a habit appliance and kick the thumb sucking in no time!

What About Tongue Thrusting?

Our early treatment repertoire includes appliances for tongue thrusting as well. Most infants begin tongue thrusting in order to help swallow food, but once the throat muscles have become more developed the habit is no longer necessary. A tongue thrusting appliance is very similar to the sucking habit appliance, except this one blocks the tongue’s access to the front teeth. If your child is still tongue thrusting by the age of seven you should consider bringing him or her down to your Savannah orthodontics office, Choice Orthodontics.

Visit Your Local Orthodontist In Savannah, MO

The best way to avoid the dangers that can arise from prolonged thumb and finger habits is to bring your child in to your local orthodontist in Savannah, MO for early treatment. Dr. Lauren Windhorst will advise you on your child’s oral health and help you decide what treatment is best for your child. While thumb and finger appliances may be uncomfortable for a short period of time, the dental conditions that prolonged sucking can cause are much more uncomfortable and much harder to fix—so act quick, your child will thank you for it. Contact us at Choice Orthodontics today to learn more or to schedule an appointment!