Thumb Sucking Appliances
The majority of children naturally outgrow their thumb-sucking habit. However, some children who continue to thumb suck after the age of five (especially vigorously) risk oral complications. These complications include: narrowed arches, crossbites, impacted teeth, and misaligned teeth. The “palatal crib” appliance usually stops thumb sucking immediately.
The “crib” is crafted and affixed to the teeth by Dr. Spatz and it is like a barely visible set of dental braces. This appliance prevents the thumb from reaching the roof of the mouth reducing gratification – and breaks the habit very quickly.
Tongue Thrust Appliances
When infants swallow, they have to thrust their tongues backward to get the food safely down. As children grow, the habit becomes less and less necessary and most children grow out of it by age six. However, in some cases the habit persists, thus causing issues similar to thumb-sucking to develop, such as crossbites, misaligned teeth, etc.
Dr. Spatz at Tooth Buds Pediatric Dentistry has appliances to help with that too. The tongue-thrusting appliance is similar to the palatal crib used for preventing thumb-sucking. The only difference is what the crib specifically blocks. Just as the appliance for thumb-sucking keeps thumbs at bay, the tongue-thrusting appliance gets in the way of the tongue, eliminating access for tongue placement and pressure.