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Old 12-27-2011, 08:27 PM   #1
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Any experience with a Fixed palatal crib for thumbsucking?

Took the kids to the dentist today. All is great except for the ongoing issue of my 12 yr old DS, he sucks his thumb in his sleep and it has moved his tooth forward and is affecting his jawbone. He was very reliant on a pacifier as a baby but around 9 months dropped that in favor of his thumb. Since he was very young he only sucked it in his sleep or when he was zoned out in front of the TV. He now will control himself when awake in front of the TV etc. but he will still do it in his sleep. We've done the sock on the arm, taping the thumb at bedtime, etc., etc. Today the dentist suggested having a fixed palatal crib inserted. It is a metal device in the roof of his mouth behind his front teeth that makes it impossible to suck your thumb. He would wear it for 6-12 months. We have no dental insurance and the dentist is giving us a 25% discount but it will still be about $450! DS really, really doesn't want it but I guess it is cheaper than braces which will be a sure thing if we do nothing. He will probably not need braces if not for the thumbsucking. Dentist said the teeth/jaw should correct themselves as DS loses the rest of his baby teeth and the adult teeth come in.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Did it work? Would you recommend it? TIA!
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:21 PM   #2
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My DD had one when she was about 9 yrs old. It was massive because she figured out how to still suck her thumb so he made it larger and you could see it from the front when she opened her mouth (it hung down below her teeth line). She had to wear it for a couple of years because it would break and it would take a couple of weeks to repair and she'd start sucking the thumb again. Or we would think she was "cured" and remove it and she'd start again. The last time it broke and came out, she decided she wasn't going to suck her thumb and stopped. You may want to check into another product, I remember seeing something that straps onto the thumb and they can sleep in it. It was in a baby catalog titled One step ahead or something like that. I think we did duct tape a sock on her hand too for night time that will be a deterrent if your DS WANTS to stop. Oh and as far as the price, ours was over $700 and we had to pay to have it repaired a few times a year so your price is not out of the ballpark.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:21 PM   #3
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Don't know

I don't have any clue. None of my kids have ever sucked their thumb so I wouldn't know for sure what to do but I would do what the dentist suggests. $450 now may save you $5,000-$7,000 later.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:36 PM   #4
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I don't have experience, but if the dentist suggest it, I would try it especially if it might help avoid braces. When I was a teen I was at a lock-in and a boy (14) fell asleep and started sucking his thumb. The girls all thought it was sort of cute, but the guys never let him live it down. I would try it, especially if he wants to stop; the teen years are times where kids are together more, have sleepovers etc. and that could be really embarrassing.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:48 PM   #5
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I had one when I was younger, 12, and it did not work! I found a way to suck my thumb regardless...however...I did get braces later on, 16, and I remember by then I had stopped sucking my thumb on my own. I think I just got too old for it...
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:10 AM   #6
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I too had one when I was younger because I was a constant thumbsucker. I found a way around it. I could just stick my thumb up inside it and do it anyway. What ended up working was some nasty liquid cinnamon. My Mom painted it on my thumb and it came it a little bottle. It would kinda burn my tongue and I quit. I did end up with braces as I got older but everyone in my family did and nobody else sucked their thumb. That is usually a genetic thing..

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