Habits are a behavioral pattern that tends to be repeated frequently. While we are all guilty of having bad habits, we mainly strive to build, grow, and develop good habits, especially for our children. Some childhood habits can follow us into adulthood. Habit therapy is about resolving several bad habits that are detrimental to yourself or your child’s oral health.
The most common habits we address with habit therapy include thumb sucking, teeth grinding (bruxism), and tongue thrusting. We are trained to notice the habits and changes in your child’s teeth early on. We will intervene by bringing a stop the behavior through habit therapy.
Habit therapy is used by applying a device that discourages the negative behavior. Habit appliances are specialized orthodontic appliances that are used to break detrimental oral habits in children. Most commonly, habit appliances are used to discontinue behaviors such as finger or thumb sucking.
Palatal cribs, also known as tongue or thumb cribs, are used to break the habit of thumb sucking, teeth grinding, or tongue thrusting. Typically, a palatal crib is worn for nine months or more. This tool is cemented to the teeth and is worn daily. While the initial insertion of a palatal crib could be uncomfortable, after an adjustment period of a few days or weeks, it will begin to feel normal and not as bothersome.
There are many benefits that can come out of the continuing relationship that your orthodontist develops and maintains with your children. One of the most important services your orthodontist provides as he gets to know your child over time is stopping bad oral habits that can cause serious complications down the road. In addition to promoting general good oral health habits, we want to be sure you and/or your child are receiving the help and necessary steps to break the bad oral habits.
We are here to help. Call today to have an opportunity to consult with us here at Brooks Orthodontics to discuss your concerns and schedule a consultation for habit therapy.
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