Braces versus Retainers: A Comprehensive Overveiw

Braces versus Retainers: A Comprehensive Overveiw

Will a Fixed Palatal Crib Cure Thumb Sucking?

by Lonnie Bryant

Although many children stop sucking their thumbs naturally before they start school, some just can't break the habit. You may not think that this is a problem, but sucking your thumb can lead to dental problems in later life. In some cases, your dentist may recommend fixing a palatal crib device to your child's teeth to break the habit once and for all. Why is it important to stop thumb sucking, and how might a crib help?

The Effects of Thumb Sucking On Teeth

According to the Better Health Channel, most children who suck their thumbs stop of their own accord by the time they are four years old. This habit is not typically a problem with younger children who still have their baby teeth; however, it may be an issue if children suck their thumbs after this age, especially when adult teeth start to replace baby teeth.

Sucking your thumb can put unnatural pressure on the teeth, pushing them out of position. For example, the habit may make the front teeth move forward or create a gap between the alignment of the top and bottom teeth. If teeth are affected in these ways, your child may need orthodontic work to straighten their teeth or realign their bite.

Fixed Palatal Cribs and Thumb Sucking

If your dentist knows that your child still thumb sucks once they're over four or five years old, you'll typically be advised to encourage them to stop. Some children find it really hard to break this habit, even with your help and encouragement. It may be too great a source of comfort to them, or they may simply not know they are doing it enough to stop.

If your child can't break the habit or is already showing signs of teeth placement problems, your dentist may recommend a fixed palatal crib. This device is a type of brace with rings or bars that sit behind the teeth and on the roof of the mouth. The crib blocks the area of the mouth that most children use when they suck their thumbs, removing the pleasure from the habit. Typically, if thumb sucking loses its appeal, children will stop doing it.

Tip: Before you decide to try a fixed palatal crib, ask your dentist to talk to your child about the treatment. There is no fixed timescale for wearing a crib. The device may cure thumb sucking very quickly, but your dentist may recommend that the crib stays in place for months, depending on the severity of the problem. The thought of having to wear and care for an orthodontic appliance may be enough to help your child decide to kick the habit rather than wear the crib.


About Me

Braces versus Retainers: A Comprehensive Overveiw

There are more than two ways to straighten a smile, and in this blog, I plan to discuss them all. I plan to look at the differences between braces and retainers and explain why sometimes you may need them both. I look at the differences in cost, time commitment and efficacy. Personally, I have had a bit of experience with this subject – I had braces as a young teen, and I had a permanent retainer. In this blog, I discuss what I have learned, and I present all kinds of new information on the topic. Whether you are trying to make decisions for yourself or your child. I hope you find this information useful.