Many of us are aware children can develop habits as infants that can stay with them well into their preschool and school years. While some are quite harmless and will pass with time and maturation others can be more stubborn and have lifetime ramifications. Some habits may not even be apparent.
How They Affect Our Children
Here are some of the most common habits we see in children:
- Dummy use beyond the age of 2
- Thumb/digit/toy sucking
- Nail biting
- Cheek/lip biting
- Tongue Thrusting habit (infantile swallow)
If these habits persist once the adult teeth begin to erupt, the position of the teeth, the direction of jaw growth and the muscular movements in and around the mouth can be influenced. Such change can potentially create some of the following problems and malocclusions:
- Narrow upper arches
- Misaligned arches
- Oral rather than nasal breathing
- Vertical rather than horizontal growth
- Poor swallowing patterns
- Increased nasal congestion
- Increased upper respiratory tract infections
- Dry mouths & dental decay
- Bucky teeth
- Rotated teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Anterior open bites
- Bruxism/grinding of teeth
Often early identification (around age 2-3) combined with awareness and training exercises can prevent many of these problems from developing, allowing a child’s full growth potential to be realised.
Where habits are stubborn, appliances such as a Blue Grass Roller or a Rapid Palatal Expander can also help.
If these habits are corrected early, skeletal change and the need for orthodontic correction is can be minimised in many cases.
BLUE GRASS ROLLER USED TO CORRECT ANTERIOR OPEN BITE & TONGUE THRUST
If you are concerned about any habits that may be affecting your child’s smile please do not hesitate to ask one of our practitioners.
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