Habits place unwanted forces on the teeth and the role of the orthodontist is geared toward stopping the habit to prevent further damage to the bite.
When a thumb sucking habit is present, the habit creates three force systems:
- Front to back
- Side to side
The thumb can add a force to the back of the front teeth and cause them to flare forward.
A vertical force caused by the thumb creates an anterior openbite because the thumb physically prevents the teeth from coming together.
Posterior crossbites are some of the most common complications resulting from a thumb sucking habit. During the sucking motion, the cheek muscles constrict almost like a girdle and prevent the upper jaw from growing wide enough to fit all of the teeth.
The thumb crib may come in all shapes and designs, but it is basically an appliance that sits in the roof of the mouth. The thumb is prevented from reaching the roof of the mouth and the “sucking” action becomes less effective.
A tongue crib is a similar appliance placed in the roof of the mouth. The design is to prevent the tongue from pushing on the teeth and causing flaring. It can look either like a cage (crib) or have small projections (spurs).
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Renick and learn more about thumb and tongue cribs in Sunbury and Marengo, Ohio, call Renick Orthodontics today at 740-936-5003.