Thumb & Finger Appliances

When you’re looking for an affordable orthodontist or dentist for kids in Arlington, VA, we at Arlington Pediatric Dentistry are proud to be your choice. Not only do we strive to offer affordable, reasonable dental and orthodontic care, but we also offer our in-house discount plan, which will make needed dental and orthodontic treatments much more attainable for your child. One of these vital treatments that we offer for children is our thumb and finger appliances, which are useful for children who have bad thumb or finger sucking habits.

The Problems of Thumb Sucking

While you may think that your growing child still sucking his or her thumb may be “cute,” the effects that it can have on a child’s teeth and jaw is nothing to “ooh” or “aah” at. Continuing to thumb suck beyond the age of three or four can lead to several different issues that include the following:

  • Open Bite – Because the thumb is keeping the front teeth from closing, a gap will be left between the teeth in the front of the mouth.
  • Jaw Misalignment – As the jaw grows, it can become misaligned because it’s flexible and vulnerable to change at such a young age. This allows the constant pressure of the thumb to gradually move the jaw out of place.
  • Protrusion – The front upper teeth may start to protrude and the lower teeth could be pushed inward.

Can This Be Prevented?

Thankfully, there are ways to prevent thumb sucking and the problems that it brings with it. As your Arlington, VA pediatric orthodontist and staff, we’re capable of fitting our younger patients with habit appliances, which will help them curb the thumb sucking habit. Other remedies can be useful to varying degrees, but a habit appliance is typically the most effective. It will follow these steps:

  • First, we’ll perform an exam that will include impressions, X-rays, and photos of the teeth.
  • We’ll take the information that we gathered and use it to make a custom palatal crib.
  • This crib will be affixed to the back molars with semicircular wires that will extend to the back of the front teeth.
  • The crib will take away the comfortable feeling that the child gets as he or she won’t be able to feel the roof of the mouth with the thumb.
  • After a few months where the child stops sucking his or her thumb, the appliance will be removed.

While the palatal crib won’t cause any major pain, it’ll still take some getting used to. Your child may feel some discomfort or even be annoyed at its presence, but just make sure to pay extra attention to your child and assure him or her that everything will be fine.

Visit Your Affordable Pediatric Orthodontist!

If you’re in search of an affordable orthodontist, we encourage you to sign up for an appointment by giving us a call at (703) 671-KIDS. Alternatively, you can fill out our appointment request page to schedule a visit through our website. We’re looking forward to seeing you!