How a Tongue Crib Appliance Can Help

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When babies suck their thumbs, it is not seen as too much of a problem – it’s just a thing they all seem to do. Some people do not think that an older child sucking its thumb is an issue, but it can lead to problems when it comes to tooth formation. Tongue thrusting is also a problem as it can cause the same poor formation of the front teeth when they start to come through. There are many dental appliances and the tongue crib appliance is made up of the same materials as the others. It is just put together in a different way.

If the tongue habits persist, it will be necessary to wear tongue crib appliance for many hours of treatment or use some of the other appliances. With a tongue crib appliance, there are wires and bands that are constructed in a way so that they resemble a gate. The gate will act as a way of remembering not to suck your thumb. When it is used to prevent tongue thrust, it will act as an aid to keep the tongue in place while swallowing takes place.


It is hard to tell how long an appliance will have to be worn. As it is placed in the mouth and cemented into place, it will not be possible to take it out at will. Each case will be different so one person may have to wear a tongue crib appliance a lot longer than another. It will depend upon the severity of the case and the amount of time it takes will be determined by the orthodontist. There is little that you have to do other than to keep the tongue behind the fence and while this may not seem easy at first, you should be able to do it after a short period of time.

You also have to be careful when it comes to eating as this appliance is not as easy to clean as others. They can be removed, and the teeth can be accessed, here some teeth will not be reached properly by the tooth brush. Although this is not going to be a very painful process, there is the likelihood that there will be a little pain felt in the tongue for the first few days after the tongue crib appliance has been fitted. It is your responsibility to look after the crib and in order to do this you can:

  • Take medication as and when needed at the beginning; but if pain last too long, speak to the orthodontist and check that everything is in order.
  • Don’t eat any food that is hard and may break the tongue crib appliance.
  • Avoid items that have high sugar content.
  • Carefully clean the appliance whenever you have eaten and cover all areas.
  • Ensure that the bands are firmly in place and check this daily.
  • Whenever you have any problems contact your orthodontist for help.

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