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Thumb and finger sucking put pressure on the soft growing bones of the upper palate, altering normal facial development and creating problems with crowded teeth and smaller airways. Orofacial myology is a fun way to kick the habit, helping the child develop self-efficacy and self esteem.

Sucking is a life-preserving reflex that every baby is born with. Along with helping the baby acquire the nutrition it needs to thrive and grow, sucking also produces a sense of pleasure and well-being through the release of endorphins, and many babies find comfort in sucking their thumb or other objects. While most children leave the habit behind during the first year of life, some continue thumb or finger sucking into the later years of life. However, a prolonged sucking habit can have detrimental effects on the growing face and teeth – putting pressure on the soft growing bones of the upper palate and causing the failure of outward growth of the upper jaw. It can also put pressure on the front teeth causing an open bite or an over-jet that requires orthodontics if not treated as a child.

Success in kicking the sucking habit is dependent on finding new ways to achieve the same sense of calm and pleasure that sucking once did. Orofacial myology does this through a fun and structured behaviour modification program that helps the child relocate their tongue to the top of their mouth, setting new facial habits in the process. Beating the habit is accompanied by a sense of self-efficacy and growing confidence for the child.

If your child is 5 years of age or older and willing to talk about their habit, now is the time work towards kicking it.