No Gum for My Girl

I don't know if I've ever mentioned that Phoebe still sucks her thumb. She started when she was 6 months old and still does it today at bedtime and when she's bored such as watching TV, in the car, etc. Well, she went to her first orthodontist consult at the recommendation of the dentist and soon she won't be able to suck her thumb even if she tried! The doctor first showed me all the bad things that are happening to her mouth because of her thumb sucking. I knew about the way it was elongating her top jaw and pushing her top teeth forward, but I had no idea it was causing a crossbite on her molars and for her tongue to push her bottom teeth forward when she swallows - every time she swallows, not just when sucking her thumb.

We then discussed the next steps. He's going to fit her for a device that will attach to her back molars and have a piece of metal sticking down that will not allow her to suck her thumb. She won't be able to close her mouth if her thumb is in there. It's going to take about four visits before she'll have this in place. Today he did step 1, which is putting spacers between her back molars and then she goes back next Tuesday for something else. At some time, he'll be taking a mold of her upper jaw to build the appliance that will go in there.

The poor thing was so anxious about this visit that when he went to have her lie back so he could put the spacers in she started crying. I sat with her and explained that it wouldn't hurt and that it was just a little rubberband that he was putting in her mouth. After the first one was put in, she stopped crying and everyone in the room laughed when she stopped and said, "Oh! That's not bad!" What a cutie! She'll be able to stay a cutie by being able to have nice teeth.

So, now that the spacers are in, she's not allowed to have any gum or other sticky foods. I'm glad that she's already had some caramel apples this fall. I guess I get all her Halloween candy, right?


Martha said…
Of course you get all of her Halloween candy. Oh, Poor Phoebe. I wish her all the best and I hope the orthodontist gives her lots of TLC too.
Poor thing! But in the long run she will be happy that she has nice teeth. Enjoy the candy! YUM! :)
Trace said…
I sucked my thumb until I was in middle school. Yes, I had braces, lol. Hopefully this will stop her from the pain of braces.
sara said…
Yes - Halloween candy for mom it is!! I'm sorry for poor Phoebe though - I hope she has a smooth ride through orthodontist land and it's over in a blink of an eye :-)
Anonymous said…
Nick had to have braces for a few years. He got used to them and he is thankful now that his teeth are perfect.

And yes, you DO get all the candy... (I got all Nick's, lol)
docgrumbles said…
my friend had such an apparatus when we were little. She tried to suck around it, but she never figured out how! Hope it works for your daughter, too!
Kirsten said…
Okay, I am coming out of the thumb-sucking closet. I, like trace, did it throughout middle school. I don't even think my husband knows that about me!! I did it secretly though, just at bedtime. Yes, also had braces for five long years. Sure don't miss those visits to the orthodontist...hopefully this will save her from teeth problems down the road.
Halloween arch nemesis these days!! I cannot stay away!!!

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