Thumb Sucking Solutions

It is well documented that if the thumb sucking habit in children continues past the age of 5 to 6 years into the mixed and permanent dentition, there is the potential for undesirable tooth movement and malocclusions may develop. As a last resort for older children and teenagers who wish to stop the habit but need a reminder, a thumb crib appliance may be fitted by an orthodontist. This basically consists of a smooth metal grid positioned behind the upper incisors which acts as a physical deterrent. The appliance is cemented via bands to the maxillary first molars and has a good reported success rate. Often a spontaneous reduction in overjet and open bite can be achieved with this passive treatment alone, even in the permanent dentition.
Comprehensive orthodontic treatment to correct any resultant or underlying malocclusion is often best left until the habit has ceased.