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Our Services / Habit Therapy

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Habit Therapy services offered in San Clemente CA

If you don’t correct them early, childhood behaviors like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting can lead to tooth misalignment and skeletal deformities that requires extensive orthodontic treatment in the future. Alex Brandon, DDS, works with local myofunctional speech specialists to provide habit therapy at Brandon Orthodontics to curb these behaviors before they cause compounded oral issues. Call the office in San Clemente, California, or request a consultation online for habit therapy today.

Habit Therapy Q & A

What is habit therapy?

Habit therapy is an orthodontic service for children whose early childhood oral habits could lead to dental and orthodontic issues. Through habit therapy, Brandon Orthodontics trains them to discontinue these habits and repair any damage that has already come as a result. 

Which habits can habit therapy correct?

Habit therapy can correct a number of behaviors that arise from infancy or toddlerhood. Such behaviors can affect your child’s gum health and their bite, prompting the need for costly and time-consuming dental and orthodontic care in adolescence. 

Brandon Orthodontics specializes in the correction of common habits like:

Thumb and finger sucking

Some small children find comfort in sucking on their thumbs in a similar way to feeding on a bottle. While this habit tends to go away with age, you should ask about habit training at Brandon Orthodontics if it persists because it can affect your child’s bite permanently. 

Tongue thrusting

Tongue thrusting describes a child’s habit of pressing their tongue into the backs of their teeth. If your child tongue thrusts, you can tell with signs like mouth breathing, a speech impediment, or a visible open bite. 

Treating tongue thrust with habit therapy is important because it can cause tooth malformation, malocclusion, and permanent speech issues. 

How does habit therapy work?

Brandon Orthodontics works directly with a lab to correct your child’s habits with custom oral appliances. During your child’s visits, they can visit with the office therapy dog, Rayne, to settle any nerves or anxiety they may have about going to the orthodontist or being in a new setting. 

The team evaluates any damage that has already resulted from your child’s thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. They also ask you when you first noticed the behavior and how often it seems to occur. 

Usually, appliances for habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting include fixed appliances to curb these habits. The appliances dissuade them from thrusting their tongue or putting their fingers in their mouth.

You come in regularly for progress checks at Brandon Orthodontics as your child takes part in habit therapy. Once the habit stops, your child’s orthodontist can work to make any necessary orthodontic repairs. 

Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting might not seem like much of a big deal, but putting a stop to these habits can prevent long-term orthodontic and speech issues. Schedule an appointment at Brandon Orthodontics over the phone or request one online today.