Bad oral habit? Habit appliances may help
Common oral habits may seem small or harmless, but habits such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, sleep apnea, or snoring can lead to more serious problems. Many different appliances can aid in nipping these problems and stop them.
While many children indulge in this habit from a young age, most kids outgrow or stop this habit around age five. Some children, however, partake in this habit vigorously or much longer than they should. Thumb sucking can lead to misalignment of your child’s teeth, and therefore negatively impact the growth patterns of his or her jaw. We use an appliance called a palatal crib, which is applied to your child’s upper teeth to stop your child from putting his or her thumb into the mouth.
Your child’s teeth can be repositioned when his or her tongue is continuously pushing against the front teeth. This may occur when speaking, swallowing, or even when the tongue is at rest. This habit can be resolved by wearing a tongue thrusting crib (much like a mouth guard) in the nighttime. Wearing this alleviates much of the pressure applied by the tongue from the front teeth.
Sleep apnea and snoring are more serious habits that can negatively affect your health as well as your sleep. Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs during sleep and causes you to breathe abnormally. This “start and stop” breathing can cause severe heart complications. Snoring is a more common issue, but if very intense, can be damaging to your blood pressure. Blood pressure can soar to incredible heights when snoring happens and can be damaging to carotid artery walls – increasing the risks of a stroke. An appliance that we offer that can treat both of these issues is called Silent Nite. This device looks like a night guard, and its thin and flexible appearance allows for easy usage. Silent Nite moves your lower jaw forward to better allow air to flow in and out, thereby reducing air velocity and soft tissue vibrations. This appliance is a more appealing option for treating sleep apnea or snoring than surgery.