Habit Breaking Appliance

What’s a habit breaking appliance?

Bad dental habits cause serious problems in the dental pieces in the medium or short term.

Bad dental habits can be caused due to the action performed that can be repeated constantly and that produces a significant change or damage in the structure of the dental pieces, originating malocclusion or crooked teeth.

Bad habits include thumb or pacifier sucking or pushing the teeth with the tongue.

Habit-breaking braces are extremely effective in preventing bad oral habits, which will eventually end up damaging your tooth structure. These appliances serve to form a barrier that prevents the person from performing any of the bad habits mentioned above.

Normally the ones who develop bad dental habits are children, commonly from early childhood, although there are cases in which this happens since the baby is in gestation in its mother’s womb.

It is important to fight against these habits because, as time goes by, they become problems that are difficult to solve.

This is why dentistry has sought a way to advance in such a way that allows dental problems to be solved effectively from an early age.

These appliances are placed inside the mouth of children in order to correct and prevent any type of maxillofacial malformation.

How do you know if your child needs a Habit-breaking appliance?

You will know if your child needs a habit-breaking appliance if he or she is a little older and still sucks his or her thumb.

If by the time your child reaches approximately 4 years of age, he or she continues with this habit. It is important that you see a dentist so that together you can correct this type of harmful habit.

If your child has occlusion problems, he or she will probably require a habit-breaking appliance.

Not only is thumb-sucking an indication that your child needs a habit-beaking appliance, but another indication is also a lot of lip sucking, especially the lower lips, or pushing the teeth with the tongue. Also if the child has bruxism problems, that is teeth grinding.

What are the bad habits?

Nail-biting is a very harmful habit because due to the pressure exerted by biting, it can cause the teeth to splinter and the jaws to suffer.

One of the most dangerous bad habits is bruxism, which consists of involuntary teeth grinding while the person is sleeping. It is worrisome when this happens because it induces teeth chipping, breaking, or fracturing. And it generates tensions in the upper and lower jaws, due to the pressure exerted.

Sucking the fingers, tongue or teeth, implies that in the short or long term, it generates a harmful reaction. This can be considered “normal” up to a certain age, however, if it persists, it is cause for concern because it changes the normal structure of the teeth and jaws, preventing the child from chewing normally.

Pushing the teeth with the tongue is another activity that can be considered “normal” when the child is still young, and usually, this habit can disappear but if it does not. It can cause the child to develop an open bite, thus impairing normal development.

Types of habit-breaking appliances.

Removable expanders are a type of habit-breaking appliance, which are used when the patient has a bite in which the upper teeth are positioned inside the lower teeth when chewing. This type of habit-breaking appliance is used to make the palate larger, and thus correct the crossbite.

On the other hand, the tongue cord is a cord whose material is acrylic, which works in such a way that the child’s tongue is retained so that it avoids pushing it against the teeth. This appliance is completely custom-made for the patient.

In addition, a palatal cradle is a habit-breaking appliance consisting of a loop made of stainless steel. The main function of the palatal cradle is to prevent the tongue from pushing against the teeth.

The U-shaped loop, in turn, also allows the tongue to push on the teeth and is normally used in conjunction with orthodontics.

The lingual palatal grid is an appliance that intercepts habits involving thumb sucking, teeth sucking or abnormal swallowing. There are different types, among which the fixed lingual grid and the removable lingual grid stand out. The lingual grid is one that is maintained in a way that cannot be removed from the oral cavity without the help of a specialist dentist. On the other hand, the removable lingual grid is one that can be used in any of the two dental arches and can be removed. The upper one prevents the patient from sucking the finger, the lower one prevents the patient from pushing the lower teeth, and the lateral ones correct open bite problems.

What solutions do habit-breaking braces offer to the patient?

Habit-breaking braces offer gradual solutions in the correction of the patient’s bad habits and the correction of the person’s dental structure.

These types of appliances are painless. Therefore, they will not cause any type of inconvenience when they are inside the child’s oral cavity. The only thing it will cause is that bad habits are corrected, which may make the child cranky at first, but then he or she will get used to it.

Normally these bad oral habits that the child develops are caused by some kind of anxiety provoked by a specific situation. Therefore, the moment your child wants to “calm down” he or she will resort to another type of solution to calm his or her emotions

Advantages of appliances that break bad habits.

A great advantage is that these appliances provide the child with the ability to chew and swallow food normally.

It also prevents the child from positioning his or her tongue in a way that generates tension in the jaw and neck muscles.

Facilitates correct occlusion, where the teeth of the upper arch should not be inside the teeth of the lower arch.

Prevents the pressure exerted by the fingers or tongue from pushing the teeth incorrectly.

It helps the child to eventually forget the habit of thumb sucking.

It prevents the tip of the tongue from touching the lower lip.

It is a fast and effective method to achieve the desired results.

It decreases the risk of the teeth becoming misaligned, and therefore, later on, the child will require orthodontics.

What to expect with this type of treatment?

At first, as we have already mentioned, this type of appliance can generate frustration and even discomfort in your child. However, after a short time, this will disappear.

The design of this type of appliance is subject to the special and personal needs of the child. Therefore, when they are in the mouth, they will adapt perfectly to the oral cavity.

The progress will be noticeable gradually. However, the changes can be noticed in just the first few days, although this also goes hand in hand with the severity of the problem.

You should not forget to take your child for a check-up every time your dentist deems it convenient. This, together with the care that will be taken at home, will help the results to be as expected.