Often times oral habits such as, thumb sucking, pacifier sucking or nail biting are treated purely as behavioral issues. I find that we often overlook the importance of finding out WHY the habit is happening and treating the root cause. Oral habits cause oral dysfunction and are linked to mouth breathing and crooked teeth.
Sometimes the oral habit is actually the body's way of coping with an airway issue! 🤯
⏩Think of how the jaw comes forward and opens the airway when sucking the thumb!
⏩Or when the tongue can't rest on the roof of the mouth (which we know helps relax the body) so the pacifier is needed to self sooth and provide input to the palate instead.
⏩Or when airway issues place the body in a dysregulated state making it harder to process sensory stimuli so the body seeks out oral habits to help self sooth.
There are lots of variable but you get the gist....I'm basically pointing out that the oral habit may be due to a larger issue and if you want to successfully get rid of that habit you need to make sure you addressing the root cause and not just the symptoms.
👉And the other part to this:
I find that many people will work on getting rid of the habit that we don't want to see, but they don't spend time teaching the client what we DO want to see in the mouth. Facilitating correct oral posture (tongue up, teeth slightly apart, lips closed) is a game changer when it comes to eliminating oral habits.
Does your child have an oral habit that you are trying to eliminate?
What has your experience been?
As always, feel free to reach out for help!