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Thread: Habit breaking appliance for thumb sucking?...m

  1. #1
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    Default Habit breaking appliance for thumb sucking?...m

    My dd, 5.5, continues to be quite the avid thumb sucker. She really wants to stop and has been able to stop during the day on her own but really struggles at night. We started using a sock on her hand at night which helped for awhile but now she has switched thumbs and is sucking her other thumb. We are considering the habit breaking appliance to help her stop but wondered if anyone has any experience with it. Her teeth and bite are already really messed up and she is getting to the age where she will start losing her baby teeth.... Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    danellsar is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Dd has one now (she's 15). No matter what we did or said, she wouldn't or couldn't stop. It's a little metal piece that goes behind the front top teeth. It makes it almost impossible to put the thumb in, and also to touch the tongue to the palate. As a result, speech is somewhat impared while they are relearning how to say certain things. Also it has tines that stick down, and this can bother the tongue at first.
    Ellen

  3. #3
    ReneeNJ's Avatar
    ReneeNJ is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    It's called a crib. We took DD to the orthodontist at age 6 b/c she had an extra tooth coming down between her two front teeth. She was an avid thumb sucker and absolutely nothing worked. She went from the bink broke her of that and started in on the thumb.

    The orthodontist showed her the crib (he had it in a model) and that totally freaked her out. The ortho proposed a "game". She would put bandaids on her thumb during the day and use a sock w/ tape at night. At the end of each day, she would put the bandaid in a baggie and get a reward when she had 30 in a row. If she sucked her thumb during the day, then the bag got emptied and she restarted. When she had 6-8 weeks of no thumb, she got a "prize". The ortho said the prize had to be tangible and something that could be taken away -- not like a trip to the movies or something. This is b/c if she were to restart w/ the thumb, the prize got taken away. She decided her prize was going to be an iPod shuffle. I thought the $50 for a shuffle was much better than the $575 for the crib.

    Eliza stopped cold turkey the next day. It was totally her idea. The game was between her and the ortho, we were there just for support. The ortho called the crib "Plan B". Eliza called it "Plan Last". We went back to the ortho about 3 mos later (I can't remember now) and she already had significant movement back into position -- several millimeters in that short period of time. She still had some more movement when we were back this fall.

    If your DD is highly motivated, she might be able to break the habit. We used socks on her hands (w/ tape on the wrist so she couldn't pull them off but not really tight), the bandaids, and lots of positive reinforcement. Try putting socks on both hands too.

    Here is a link to the thread on BB2001 from when she did this:
    http://www.inciid.org/forum/showthre...ighlight=thumb

    Also be wary that it doesn't get replaced by another oral habit -- hair sucking, nail biting, etc. We are now having these issues. Some kids just have high oral needs.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
    Renee
    Last edited by ReneeNJ; 02-02-2010 at 09:00 PM. Reason: added link to thread

  4. #4
    jvirginia is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Yes, we bought one on the recommendation of our dentist ... $80 and it really didn't work. DS could slip his thumb out of it. We did better with a thumb splint (on both hands) from the drug store + nasty tasting stuff to paint on the nail. A sock taped with duct tape at the wrist also works. That or the spint are cheaper/easier than the appliance and at least as good.

    No matter what, the kid needs to be a willing partner.

    If it helps, DS is now 11 and his teeth recovered very well once he stopped sucking. He has had one round of braces (v. common now to do them at 8 or 9 and then again for a much shorter time as a teen) but mostly to widen his jaw.

  5. #5
    sgsg is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    When I saw your headline I thought that you threatened to make her go back to a crib if she kept sucking her thumb! I am glad to hear that it is an appliance - and even happier that it motivated your dd to drop the habit. :-)

  6. #6
    TaraWB is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default No advice, just personal experience

    I sucked my thumb until I was 11. My parents tried everything but nothing could make me stop. My front teeth were pushed out with a big space. After I stopped, my teeth went back into place on their own. They are not perfect, but I never needed braces.
    Anyway, best of luck to you, I hope the device works. It's hard enough for adults to break a bad habit, worse for kids.

  7. #7
    zody is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default dd was an avid thumbsucker

    now she's 7 and bites her nails. She knows it's not pretty but she can't help it. She tries to limit herself to just one hand or other little tricks but nothing really sticks. I think she mostly does it when she's bored or watching tv. I tried getting her "chewlery" some thing else to chew on, really nothing has helped. I was told by two adult friends who bite their nails not to fight her on this. They said they were bugged by their parents all their lives and that made them want to hide and do it anyway. Even the ped agreed that it has be her self motivation to quit, we can only support her. Grosses me out because she has her hands in her mouth, so I am constantly telling her to wash her hands, which she does.

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    Our orthodontist recommended putting gloves on at night. You thread a shoelace around the wrist of the glove, and then tie them at the wrist. My son stopped sucking within a week. Now 1.5 years later, he still doesn't suck his thumb, but bites his nails.

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