Habit correctors are appliances that help stop certain repeated motions or habits. They help stop tongue thrusting (pressing the tongue against the front teeth when swallowing) and deter finger and thumb sucking. These habits can be bad for your teeth and jaws.
Wearing a habit corrector may take a few days, or a few weeks, to get used to. Some habit appliances are removable; others can only be taken out by your doctor. Most removable correctors are worn 24 hours a day. Here are some tips when wearing and caring for any type of habit appliance:
- Limit sugary foods and sodas. Also avoid sticky, chewy, or hard foods as they can break your appliance.
- Brush your teeth and appliance with toothpaste each morning and night, and after eating, too.
Learning to stop a bad habit can take time. But it's worth the effort. Sometimes an expert in speech and swallowing can help also. Adopting healthy new habits can help your teeth look their best for a lifetime.