Young patients exhibiting thumb and/or tongue habits can be encouraged to discontinue the habit by using a reminder appliance. The appliance assists in compliance by making the child more aware of a finger habit that has become second nature. Improper posturing of the tongue can be approached by a guard that guides the tongue to the proper position in the vault and protects the anteriors from further malalignment.
Hayrake Palatal Guard
adds the additional aspect of projections to provide a more potent reminder of tongue and finger habits. This therapy is considered a punitive approach and is used when previous attempts have been unsuccessful in eliminating the persistent habit.
Fixed Palatal Guard
is preferred by many Doctors as a fixed appliance for finger habits. and the most comfortable variation. This appliance does not keep the digit out of the mouth, but prevents finger contact with soft palatal tissue. The satisfaction derived from sucking and tissue contact are removed, thus discouraging the habit.
Fixed Palatal Fence prevents the finger from being placed in the mouth and therefore provides a solid reminder of the habit to the child. The appliance is usually anchored to bands cemented to either the second primary or first permanent molars. Both the Fixed Palatal Guard and the Fixed Palatal Fence are non-punitive approaches. This appliance will also serve as a tongue fence.