Tips 1 : How to correct the bad habit of thumb sucking?
Right, my thumb!
Gabrielle is consulting. Her dentist referred her because he noticed an important deformation of the incisors that started growing at the age of 7 years old. Indeed, I noticed during the exam that Gabrielle has a nice profile. However, when I look at her from the front, the upper lip is raised and she has some difficulty to close her lips together.
I point out to her mom that when I ask her to close her teeth together that there is a gap with her incisors. It is impossible for her to cut with her front teeth because they are not connecting together. It is also impossible for her to properly pronounce her “s”.Finally she is not able to contain her tongue when she swallows.
I explain to her mother that when a child has a bad thumbsucking habit while he still has his baby incisors, we notice an autocorrection of the malocclusion. However, when the bad habit continues and that the permanent incisors grow, the axis that they will grow within will be incorrect, and the suction effect will deform the palate.
I discuss the possible solutions with the mother. Yes, the speech therapist will be able to help. However, the teeth deformation is too severe and Gabrielle will not be able to put her tongue where it should be during the recommended exercises. I explain to her that the speech therapists have reported that the success rate is higher when the palate form and the dental alignment had been corrected before the speech exercises.
I start to show Gabrielle what her palate expander looks like and explain that it will be fixed on her first adult molars. Mom will have to turn the small key once a day for about a month. Gabrielle will need to keep the palate expander for a period of 8 months in order for her cartilage cells to regenerate. Furthermore, the device changes the mouth environment and will help discourage the bad habit of thumb sucking.
I also show her the braces that will be fixed on her incisors in order to correct her erroneous angle. She will keep them for a year. Gabrielle,under the speech therapist supervision, will have a correction of her teeth positioning which will increase her pronunciation and chewing habits. I explain to her mother that there will be a sequel to this treatment, but only when all of her adult teeth will be fully grown, and that Gabrielle will have given puberty signs.