A little girl sucking her thumbThumb sucking is one of those habits that may look “cute” on your toddler, but will eventually lead to oral care problems. Unfortunately, if your child is a habitual thumb sucker, getting them to part with their self-discovered pacifier is never easy, and could mean some sleepless nights for everyone.

The same goes with snoring. While snoring can occur off and on due to congestion or the common cold, frequent snoring may require some intervention from an anti-snoring device.

The Issues Associated with Thumb Sucking

After your child reaches age two, they should develop different coping mechanisms other than sucking their thumb. If they continue to suck their thumb, there are both short and long-term effects that could impact them, such as:

  • The pressure from thumb sucking on the upper jaw and soft tissue of the mouth can force the jaw to narrow and the teeth to improperly meet at the top and bottom. While this can be fixed with braces, it can be avoided just by stopping thumb sucking early on.
  • Your child may develop speech problems, such as a lisp, which will need professional speech therapy to correct.
  • If your child does develop a cross-bite, it could affect their speech and shape of their teeth.
  • Your child can also develop a “thumb hole” in the roof of the mouth, which can cause the teeth in the back to take the brunt of all of your child’s chewing, creating an imbalance in the structure of the mouth.

Oral Appliances to Stop Thumb Sucking and Snoring

There are orthodontic solutions that can help deter your child from sucking on their thumb and dental apparatuses that can reduce snoring. These include:

A dental bracket and a toothbrush

  1. Thumb-Mounted Apparatuses – These are worn on your child’s hand and around the thumb to keep them from sucking in the middle of the night as well as during the day.
  2. Dental Devices – Dental devices are attached by wires and disrupt the pleasure of thumb sucking. These are long-term devices and will require a dentist to remove once you are ready, while hand apparatuses can be removed each morning or as needed.
  3. Snoring Mouthpieces – Also known as retainers, these pieces relieve snoring by keeping the lower jaw in a forward position while sleeping. This ensures the airway remains open. It is the most common dental apparatus used for snoring and significantly reduces the sounds of snoring.
  4. Chin Straps – These are typically used for those with sleep apnea and help hold your mouth closed while you sleep to promote breathing through your nose. If you have sleep apnea, you may use a chin strap in conjunction with your Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy appliance to reduce mouth venting.

What Devices Combat Thumb Sucking and Snoring?

Thumb sucking apparatuses are safe and effective. There are no chemicals or tastes your child will associate with when using one. Instead, it breaks the habit by making thumb sucking undesirable and uncomfortable.

You can meet with Dr. Cyrus today regarding your child’s thumb sucking habit and see what type of thumb sucking deterrent is right for them.

Dealing with snoring? Do not forget to ask Dr. Cyrus about anti-snoring apparatuses, which can help reduce snoring and improve breathing at night, so everyone gets a good night’s sleep.

If you are interested in anti-thumb sucking or anti-snoring devices, meet with your dental care expert today.

Call Dr. Cyrus at 416-287-2426 today to schedule an appointment.

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Tuesday  7:00 AM - 8:00 pm
Wednesday  9:30 AM - 8:00 pm
Thursday  9:30 AM - 8:00 pm
Friday  11:30 AM - 7:00 pm
Saturday  7:00 AM - 4:00 pm

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Sheridan Cyrus Dentistry
1371 Neilson Road, Suite G01 Lower Level, Scarborough Ontario, M1B 4Z8

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