What Is A Thumb Sucking Appliance- A Complete Guide
Posted on 09/10/2023

Kids from before they were born take comfort in sucking their thumbs. In utero, it's meant to help train them for nursing. After weaning off of breast milk or bottles, they are supposed to stop sucking their thumbs, but some kids don't. Mack Orthodontics offers an excellent preventive device to get kids to stop thumbsucking and avoid ruining their teeth.

The Thumbsucking Device

There are several different anti-thumbsucking devices. Depending on the age of your child, and as prescribed by your Eldridge orthodontic treatment plan, the device may be fixed, removable, or outside the mouth.

The Thumb Wrap

For most children under the age of 4 but older than 2, the thumb Wrap device is sufficient. It fits over the thumb your child prefers to put in his/her mouth and covers the thumb completely in a plastic tube that extends to the wrist. Velcro wraps around the base of the thumb and the wrist like an orthopedic wrist support. Most kids between 2 and 4 can't figure out how to undo and remove it, which is why this works. You can remove it during different times of the day for eating, toileting, etc.

The Mouth Roller

This device is affixed to the upper premolars of children who are 5 to 7 years of age. Instead of sucking on a thumb, the child ends up spinning the roller that stretches between the sides of the mouth. The roller is under the roof of the mouth blocking the thumb from sitting there.

The Cage Device

A thumbsucker loves to feel the thumb suction up against the roof of the mouth. The cage device creates a wire block across the roof of the mouth so that the thumb can't go there. The device can only be inserted and removed by an orthodontist.

The Rake

This orthodontic appliance has several prongs hanging down from the roof of the mouth. Any attempts at thumbsucking get a sharp jab from the prongs. It takes a little time, but eventually, the child doesn't want to thumbsuck because attempts hurt too much. This device is best for much older thumbsuckers (e.g., 9-11 years of age) who haven't given up the thumb yet).

Application of Orthodontic Devices

The purpose of inserting semi-permanent anti-thumbsucking devices, apart from trying to break a bad habit, is to prevent bad teeth. Part of your child's Eldridge orthodontic treatment plan, particularly if your child is still young, is to stop bad habits that can wreck their mouths and teeth. The aforementioned devices quickly accomplish that purpose.

If you want to stop your child from thumbsucking, contact Mack Orthodontics for a consultation today!