Kids Mouth Guard
Many parents encourage their babies to suck their thumb because it's self soothing for babies and helps them sleep better.
Unfortunately, there comes a point when thumb sucking has to stop, or your child can face some pretty serious orthodontic issues.
Fortunately, at Surprise Smiles we can customize a night mouth guard appliance to help curb your child's thumb sucking habit, saving you expensive orthodontic bills, and years of office visits in the future.
Mouth guards are also designed to absorb impact and protect the face, teeth, lips, tongue, and jaw from damage in the case of a hit to the face - for kids playing any kid of sports. Mouth guards protect the lips, tongue, and cheek lining by covering the upper teeth.
When you and your child come into our Surprise, AZ office, we can help you decide what kind of mouth guard might be needed.
How does thumb sucking hurt my child's teeth?
We understand the benefits that come from babies sucking their thumbs for self-soothing. Thumb sucking can help your little ones feel comfortable in different circumstances including falling asleep, feeling comforted and induce a calming sensation.
Unfortunately, once your baby's teeth start erupting, thumb sucking can cause damage to their tooth development and placement.
Though we often think of teeth as being set firm, they are not stationary. Teeth can be moved, just as we move them with the use of braces.
Young children can force teeth to move and shift by putting their thumbs or fingers in their mouth, particularly if they are sucking on fingers for long periods of time daily. Thumb sucking can change the alignment of teeth causing a dramatic shift, and creating a huge problem.
Thumb Sucking Guard Options
We can provide a guard to help your child stop sucking their thumb. We offer a few different options with varying attributes. Thumb sucking guards include:
||Aversion Therapy Splint: This guard is a plastic cylinder that is designed to fit over your child's thumb.
||Thumb Sucking Night Mouth Guard: We can customize a night mouth guard or mouth guard to help your child break their habit of thumb sucking. Designed to fit over your child's top teeth, this will provide a barrier between the thumb and teeth. The way the mouth guards work is by preventing their thumb from sitting comfortably on the roof of their mouth ; they end up not being able to achieve suction because of this.
||Non-Removable Options: Besides the above removable options, we have non-removable options that can be placed. This includes a metal frame that can help.
Is a Thumb Sucking Guard Right for My Child?
If your child is continuing to suck their thumb after their teeth have come in, it can impact the teeth's alignment and your child's smile. Thumb sucking can cause:
||Movement of Teeth: Teeth can be shifted and moved out of alignment. The most typical long term thumb sucking result is an open bite.
||Changes to the Shape of the Roof of the Mouth: Your child's facial shape is growing and changing rapidly. The thumb being pushed up against the roof of the mouth persistently can cause changes to the shape of the roof of their mouth.
||Disruption of the Jaw Joint: Your child can cause disruption and alignment issues to their jaw joint.
||Introduce Decay causing Bacteria: Fingers can have all sorts of bacteria and germs on them, putting it in their mouth can be a source of infection.
Don't Scold Your Child for Thumbsucking
Parents can start with good intentions, but become frustrated. Scolding your child for thumb sucking is not a good alternative to other plans. We are happy to discuss ideas including reward charts, praise when they choose another method to self soothe, and continued diligence.
A night mouth guard appliance can make it easy for your child to beat thumb sucking quickly and totally, and we are happy to help.
What is the Process of Getting a Mouth Guard Made?
Custom-made night guards from the dentist fit the patient more precisely than the commercially available guards. This is done by taking a mouth impression.
Plaster casts are made from negative copies of the upper and lower teeth. The dental lab makes the customized night mouth guard from the model cast or mold.
Dental molds are used to make night guards. The mold is used to shape soft laminate or hard acrylic material into a perfect fit between the two sets of teeth. Our dentists and professional team can create night guards for both upper and lower teeth.
The mold is then used to inspect the fit and the alignment of the bite once the night guard has been created. They can make adjustments to it if necessary.
Can Kids Get Mouth Guards for Grinding Teeth?
Teeth grinding and jaw clenching are medically referred to as bruxism. Many children suffer from it, although it often disappears by puberty without causing any long-term issues.
Your child can have a headache, toothache, jaw pain, or tooth wear if they do this.
Most cases of teeth-grinding in children are short-lived and won't harm their teeth. But if the problem persists, you should visit a doctor or dentist.
Dentists may recommend a custom night guard for children whose teeth-grinding and clenching cause discomfort in the face and jaw or permanent tooth damage.
The night mouth guard is custom-fitted to the child's teeth, much like the mouth guards worn by athletes. A night guard may require some adjustment, but it is usually effective.
At What Age Can a Child Wear a Night Mouth Guard?
Getting a child fitted for an orthodontic night guard is not limited by age. Since tooth-grinding (bruxism) can begin at any age, a night mouth guard can be effective for children who need it. Step one is a visit to Surprise Smiles. Your child could need a custom night guard, which we can provide.
What Materials Are Mouth Guards Made Of?
Typically, we will use a transparent acrylic plastic material to create a personalized night guard for your child.
The adaptability of the acrylic material permits a personalized and precise fit. As a bonus, the material is safe and won't irritate your kid's gums or teeth.
Your Surprise, AZ Dental Team Can Help With Mouth Guards for Kids!
If your child is struggling with thumb sucking, teeth grinding, or needs a custom fit mouth guard for sports, call us at (602) 842-4864 and schedule an appointment to visit our practice and discuss the available options.