Negative Oral Habits
Can't Seem to Stop?
Pesky oral habits, most commonly thumb/finger-sucking, chronic nail biting, or pen/pencil chewing, can be an eye-sore and cause concerns about germs and contaminants entering the mouth. But there are long-term effects if these habits continue, causing negative impacts to the face, teeth, and jaws. These alterations can contribute to aesthetic, health, functional, and self-esteem problems throughout life. If you or your child have tried everything, it seems, to get rid of a habit associated with the mouth, there are actually reasons why these habits persist so strongly - it has to do with the science behind the habit. The "WAY-TO-GO!" Habit Elimination Program is 5 appointment program that addresses all the underlying issues, as well as using fun, positive, and successful strategies that support you and your family in the process to stop the habit for good! Although the program can start with individuals as young as four-year-olds, whatever age you're at, those habits can finally be overcome!
In the dental field, a common treatment for thumb/finger sucking problems is to place a crib appliance in the mouth (a device that goes over the roof of the mouth, usually with some kind of deterrent to keep the finger/thumb away from where it normally likes to go). Unfortunately, it does not address the underlying issues, which can sometimes result in relapse after the appliance is removed (especially in times of stress) or in rare cases - the appliance has been known to cause oral aversion. The most significant disadvantage of the crib appliance is the fact that it discourages proper oral posture (the pattern for the tongue and other facial muscles to function properly), which can continue to negatively impact the face, mouth, and jaws throughout the individual's life.
Orofacial Myologists assist individuals to break negative oral habits in a positive program by addressing the underlying issue(s).