What is Habit Therapy?

Two of the most common oral habits include thumb sucking and tongue thrusting. Both of these habits can have a negative impact on the way that your child’s teeth look. With proper habit therapy using a simplistic oral device, we can help to deter from continuing the behavior. The appliance is worn for weeks or several months as a way to retrain your child and to put a stop to bad habits.

Why is Habit Therapy necessary?

Thumb sucking as well as tongue thrusting can have a serious impact on your child’s oral health. Both habits can cause a problem known as an open bite, which causes a space between the upper and lower teeth. Open bites often require extensive orthodontic problems that require a lot of treatment to fix. Likewise, airway and breathing issues can be related to an open bite.

Who is a candidate for Habit Therapy?

Dr. Ong will examine your child’s teeth as well as ask you questions regarding their habits. Oftentimes, an open bite is visible when the child sucks their thumb and the teeth may look flared out when they thrust their tongue continuously. It is important to consider treatment for your child as soon as possible to prevent the problem from getting worse. Treatment is easy, quick and has been proven to be incredibly effective.

What happens during the Habit Therapy procedure?

The habit therapy process begins with a consultation so that we can get to know you and your child. We will affix a device to either the upper or lower jaw. This device often has rounded “spikes” that are safe and will not cut into your child’s tongue or finger. However, the device will deter your child from sucking their thumb or pushing out their tongue because of how uncomfortable it feels. This device may need to be worn for a few months in order for therapy to be effective. Treatment is considered finished once the behavior has stopped completely.

If you think your child may have an issue involving thumb sucking or thrusting, call us today to learn more about habit therapy.

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