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Thumb Crib – Richardson, TX

Put a Stop to Thumb Sucking

Some thumb sucking during early childhood is normal. Most kids stop this habit on their own when they are still quite young. But what if your child is engaging in prolonged or intense thumb sucking? Their future oral health could be in danger! Excessive thumb sucking can cause the teeth and jaws to develop improperly, which can affect your child’s appearance, chewing ability, breathing, and more. Our Richardson team wants to help you address this problem. We might recommend that your child uses a thumb crib, a special oral appliance that is designed to put a stop to thumb sucking.

What Is a Thumb Crib?

little girl sucking her thumb

A thumb crib is also known as a palatal crib. It is a custom oral appliance that creates a fence or cage just beneath the roof of the mouth. It will not interfere with your child’s ability to eat or speak, but it will prevent the pressure and sucking sensation that occur at the top of the mouth during thumb sucking. In other words, its job is to remove the stimulus provided by thumb sucking. Without that stimulus, your child will find less satisfaction in sucking their thumb and be able to break free from the habit.

Thumb cribs are usually fixed in the mouth for 9 – 12 months.

The Process of Getting a Thumb Crib

happy little boy in dental treatment chair

If your child is more than three years old and you believe they are engaging in excessive thumb sucking, visit our team for a consultation. We will examine their mouth, possibly take some X-rays, and recommend your next steps. If it looks like a thumb crib is right for your child, we will design the appliance and book you for a future appointment so we can place it in your child’s mouth.

The teeth that hold the thumb crib might be a bit tender for a few days, and your child may be upset that they can no longer soothe themselves via thumb sucking. They might need a bit of extra love and tenderness during this transition period, but hopefully, they will be back to acting like themselves within a matter of days.

Benefits of a Thumb Crib

happy young girl standing outside

The biggest benefit of a thumb crib is its potential to protect your child’s oral health. By preventing thumb sucking, a thumb crib can promote healthy development of your child’s oral structures. Therefore, they are less likely to experience issues like gaps between their teeth, sleep apnea, difficulty chewing, and other problems. Preventing these problems can help you save money and spare your child from pain and discomfort.

Another noteworthy benefit of a thumb crib is that it may move your child to learn other self-soothing techniques — ones that will not put their oral health in jeopardy.