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Lots of children suck their thumbs. But is this habit a harmless trait or a major issue? The answer depends largely on your child. While thumb sucking in early childhood is perfectly natural, it can lead to dental problems down the road if your child continues to suck as they grow older. Orthodontists recommend certain devices to address thumb sucking. But do they even work? Read on to learn whether a thumb sucking appliance can help your child break their habit.

What is a Thumb Sucking Appliance?

A thumb sucking appliance is a physical tool that is used to prevent your child from sucking their thumb. There are different types of devices available. However, orthodontists usually use a tool called a palatal crib. Palatal cribs are small metal tools fitted to the inside of the mouth. The device prevents a child’s thumb from hitting the roof of their mouth, which helps the user break their habit. If the thumb cannot hit the roof of the mouth, then the pressure and sensation that your child is used to will be broken. It’s a simple, safe, and gentle way to prevent thumb sucking.

Are There Alternatives?

Since thumb sucking is a common problem, there are plenty of products on the market to address the issue. There are special gloves or hand covers on the market, as well as nail polishes that use taste to stop the user from putting their hands in their mouth. There are also removable palate cribs that some patients prefer.

These devices can be helpful. However, they can also be difficult to use, especially if your child is resistant to the idea. With a fixed device, you don’t have to worry about your child removing the appliance.

Will My Child Need Braces?

Simply put, it depends on the child. A thumb sucking appliance can make a big difference, but some kids will still need braces or aligners. An orthodontic consolation is the best way to learn what the future holds for your child’s smile. Ready to learn more? Call Adventure Orthodontics for advice on thumb sucking devices, braces, and more.

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