Desire + Awareness + Education = SUCCESS
Sucking habit treatment is recommended prior to the age of 3, before the adult teeth start to come in. When the sucking persists past the age of three or becomes chronic (i.e. occurring in two or more settings) it may be time to think about eliminating the sucking habit.
Before making any decisions it is important for you to be knowledgeable about the treatment options.
There are many different treatment approaches available to eliminate a sucking habit. Psychodynamic therapy, mechanical devices, and behavior modification therapies are common approaches; however the data clearly supports the use of behavior modification.
A TWO THUMBS UP therapy program encompasses conscious awareness, motivation, positive reinforcement and a mini reward system. Elimination of the sucking habit generally occurs within ten days and/or nights.
Can contribute to a dental malocclusion such as a cross bite, overjet, or anterior open bite
Constant pressure of thumb against the roof of the mouth can contribute to a high, narrow, arched palate
Sucking habits anchor the tongue down and forward instead of allowing the tongue to rest in the proper position on the roof of the mouth
Contributes to abnormal tongue movement patterns
Alters respiratory patterns, contributing to open mouth rest posture of the lips
Infections and calluses on the thumbs or fingers
Speech sound errors
Difficulty focusing on a subject when thumb sucking occurs in a school setting
Can negatively affect peer relationships
To learn more from the creator of the Two Thumbs Up program, Christine Mills, check out her book! This is an excellent resource for both families and professionals. (Click the image to link directly to Amazon).