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Does your child suck their thumb or fingers? We can help!

Prolonged thumb- or finger-sucking can have serious consequences for children and, if not corrected, may lead to deformities in the bones around the front teeth, as well as bad bites. While most children will stop sucking their fingers on their own, in some cases, our orthodontists may need to recommend a thumb crib to help them break the habit.

Thumb cribs are a type of oral appliance used to stop children from sucking their fingers. Also known as a fixed palatal crib, this appliance is a special type of brace that is attached in a specific area of the mouth. The entire appliance is mostly hidden from view, but the wires in the device will prevent your child from touching their gums or the roof of the mouth, making thumb-sucking uncomfortable and encouraging your child to stop this habit.

Most children wear their thumb crib for nine to 12 months. This is long enough to both break their finger-sucking habit and correct any deformations caused by thumb-sucking. We have found that the best age for a child to receive a thumb crib is around age 6, when their baby teeth are beginning to loosen but their permanent teeth have not yet erupted. We will examine your child’s teeth, mouth and bite to determine if a thumb crib is a good option for them.

For more information about thumb cribs in Pataskala, New Albany, Westerville, Newark and Powell, Ohio, and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeff, Dr. Soo or Dr. Betina, call Shirck Orthodontics today.