Parafunctional Habit Breaking

Tongue thrust and thumbsucking are two habits that have a negative orthodontic effect and thankfully an orthodontic solution. Tongue trust swallow forces the tongue forward in a holdover from infancy. This habit forces the incisors apart and outwards. An orthodontic appliance prevents the tongue from contacting the teeth allowing them to settle back into a normal position. Training exercises either from the orthodontist or a speech therapist can aid in retraining the habit. A thumb habit will cause the upper incisors to protrude forward and the maxilla to collapse inwards from the cheek pressure. A combination appliance will correct the maxillary width problem and prevent seating of the thumb in the desired spot. This almost always extinguishes the habit overnight.


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