These next appliances help with movements the brackets alone can’t accomplish. These tend to be more case specific and are used in conjunction, or at the same time, as the braces. They may be found in the roof of the mouth as in the case of an expander, habit appliance, or bite plate, OR, they may be external to the mouth as in the case of the headgear or the facemask. They may be utilized for certain types of tooth movement or for growth modification where applicable in a growing child.
Habit Breaking Appliances
These appliances are placed in the roof of the mouth either to discourage a finger/thumb sucking habit or a tongue thrust.
There are many different versions of habit breaking appliances and they are usually custom made and case specific.
The more common finger or thumb sucking habit appliance is called a crib. Generally, we try to break the habit with either a sock on the hand or the use of a sour tasting polish prior to moving on to an oral appliance.
For a tongue thrust, we generally use an appliance that is called a tongue crib or spur. It looks archaic, but it works and poses no threat to the patient.