Elimination of oral habits can be a physical and emotional challenge. Your child needs to feel ready and supported. At Facial Connection, we can provide a program individually designed with parents and the child. This team approach allows your child to build self confidence and enjoy the feelings of the positive change in habits.
The Systemic Connection
Poor oral habits will result in the the following...
Hindered jaw growth and development
Increase risk for airway breathing dysfunctions
Poor tongue posture
Poor development of facial muscle complex
Negatively affects proper swallowing
Nail-biting is a noxious oral habit that can alter jaw growth and development. Biting the nails can also cause damage to teeth and natural eruption patterns of permanent teeth. Research now suggests that nail biting could also be associated with an airway issue. Because nail-biting is an oral habit, it can also be linked to other noxious habits like thumb or digit sucking. A thorough myofunctional evaluation can help to determine what type of therapeutic interventions can be used. When we think about proper rest posture of the tongue being at the roof of the mouth and nail-biting, the tongue actually is in a lowered position that is not ideal. This then encourages open mouth resting posture with mouth breathing.
Thumb & Finger Sucking
Thumb or finger sucking is also a noxious oral habit that can alter jaw growth and development. This will cause the front teeth to remain open. Open bites can encourage a low tongue posture and an open mouth posture. Research again is showing a possible connection between digit sucking and airway issues or even possibly tethered oral tissues such as a tongue tie. Digit sucking can also cause a disruption in developing a proper swallowing pattern. Improper swallowing can lead to crooked teeth, underdeveloped jaws and digestive issues to name a few. By using Myofunctional therapy to help retrain the tongue and facial muscles, we will help to eliminate this noxious habit and influence proper growth development of the skeletal and dental structures.
Long-term Pacifier Use
Pacifiers and their existence will be the topic of discussion among parents, mommy groups and providers for years to come. As a parent myself, I know how important I felt it was for my child to be "pacified" in another way besides nursing. The position on pacifiers can be a touchy subject for some but there is research that shows prolonged pacifier habits can alter jaw growth and development. Much like thumb sucking, an open bite can develop along with abnormal eruption patterns of the teeth. Pacifier habits can encourage a low tongue resting posture that, as mentioned above, is not ideal for jaw and teeth development. It is normal for babies to seek the need of the thumb or even another option, the pacifier, in infancy. In an ideal situation, if a pacifier is used, it should be discontinued by 6 months of age.