Some patient habits include extended pacifier and bottle use as well as digit sucking.

Digit sucking and pacifier use is a habit that occurs in infants. Children should give up these habits by the age of three, and if not done by then, interventions should be used. Interventions include taking away the pacifier or using a bitter tasting nail polish called, “Mavala Stop” as a reminder to reduce thumb sucking habits.  If the child continues past the age when their permanent teeth start to erupt, they may develop crooked teeth and a malformed roof of their mouth. This results from the frequency, duration, intensity, and position of the digit in the child’s mouth. This can also affect the position of the upper and lower jaw and can also affect speech.

Suggestions to break some of the habits:

  • Do not put your child to bed with a bottle (especially containing milk or juice).
  • If nursing or using bottle prior to bedtime, make sure to brush their teeth before they fall asleep, or if occurring at night time, at the least, have them drink some water or wipe their teeth with a moist or wet wipe.
  • Wait till the time is right (low stress).
  • Motivate your child (show examples of what could happen to their teeth and fingers/thumbs).
  • Use a reward system (small incentives will encourage your child to stick with it).

Ask our team for more information on early intervention with cessation of habits.