Effects of thumb sucking habits

November 29, 2011 | By | Reply More

Effects of thumb sucking habits

Digit sucking habits which persist into the teenage years can sometimes be hard to break and may result in either a posterior buccal cross bite or an anterior open bite with proclination of the upper and retroclination of the lower incisors.

In general, if the habit stops before facial growth is complete then the anterior open bite usually resolves spontaneously and the overjet returns to normal.

Fig.  9 year-old patient with an anterior open bite caused by a thumb sucking habit. Note the wear on the thumb as a result of this. She was fitted with a simple upper removable appliance and gently encouraged to stop the habit. She did so successfully and the open bite closed down spontaneously in 6 months.

Figs.  show a case with an anterior open bite associated with an avid digit sucking habit. A simple upper removable appliance was used successfully to stop the habit. The appliance simply makes the habit feel less of a comfort and acts as a reminder to the patient that they should stop sucking the thumb.

Complex appliances with bars or tongue cribs are rarely needed. In this patient once the habit had stopped the open bite closed down on its own without the need for further orthodontic treatment.

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Category: Dental, Orthodontics, Pedodontics

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