A habit appliance is typically made up of two molar bands (rings) and has a wire attached between them. A habit appliance has a special crib to help stop thumb sucking or tongue thrusting.
The habit – breaking appliance is worn to attempt to modify the behavior which causes the habit. The success of the appliance depends on the attitude of the patient - whether they wish to stop the habit.
Habit appliances sometimes have metal attachments that may initially irritate the inside of the cheeks. Soft wax will be given to you to press over this area while your mouth is adapting. The teeth may also become sore for approximately 1-2 days. Advil or Ibuprofen is helpful twice per day during this time.
Hard and sticky foods must be avoided while the habit appliance is in place. These foods may pull the appliance loose and allow bacteria to accumulate under the bands on the molars, possibly causing decay to form. If you suspect that the appliance is loose, please call our office so that we can assess the situation.
It is very important to keep the appliance very clean. Food, plaque and tartar can build upon the edges which can cause tissue swelling, redness, bleeding and dental decay. Scrubbing the bands with your toothbrush and toothpaste after meals and before you go to bed is necessary every day.