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Any of you mom's have experience with thumb appliance (device surgically placed in mouth) to stop thumb sucking or paci usage?

The dentist recommend a device today called thumb appliance that is surgically place in the top of the mouth to stop thumb sucking and paci usage.   I was wondering if any of you ladies have experience with this. 

DS age 4 is on a waiting list to be evaluated but we suspect high functioning autism.  He is in preschool and we are working with OT to try and stop him from using the paci but so far nothing is working.  I feel like this device would be good to stop the paci BUT I worry about how it will affect his behavior since he no longer has that comfort.


by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 7:22 PM
Replies (21-24):
by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Quoting Hani_Mommy:

Or you could let the child continue to suck their thumbs, and then need extensive ortho surgery when they are teens...
That is not a given.  We can't forcast what will happen between now and then.  You cannot stop a behaviour without replacing it - it will only evolve into a more distructive behaviour - the need is still there.  Sorry, if I come across harsh, but if you read my response, you will see why I feel this way.  People who do not have oral self regulation will not understand the need to suck or chew for calming.  Heck, I didnt understand it until my son helped me understand both our needs to chew.  

It's not surgery either! It's an impression to measure for the device, then the child comes back and it's placed in their mouth... And then secured to the teeth "bonded" ... It's not surgery!  If you read the post, she stated they will surgically implant it.  
Quoting kajira:

I find that sort of offensive that a dentist would want to perform surgery just to stop thumbsucking.....

by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM

I had issues in locating a dentist for my 2 year old dd. Most either didn't want to take her because of her ASD, or others that knew how to deal with SN kids were all full and booked. I ended up finding a great dentist that deals with SN kids but he is like 40 minutes away. For me it was worth it. Since she will only see a dentist 2 times a year besides any issues that may arise. Your local autism center should have a list of doctors in your area (not sure where you live). I would not do a surgery on my kid unless absolutely necessary, and that is not necessary. Get some chewy necklaces and try that first. Or maybe (if he could handle it, I know my DD cannot yet) a piece of hard candy to suck on instead? They make some that are sugar free and with xylitol that her dentist recommend because my dd has really bad soft teeth (all needed to be capped). Good luck mama!!

Quoting mommaboudreaux:

I'm thinking we may need to.  We took him in for his very first check up last october and that dentist was a total ass and not understanding at all (which is why we had not gone back). 

I didn't go to the appointment because he tends to do much better when I am not there.  When my husband came home though he said this dentist was much younger and more understanding with my son, and Blake (DS) actually did very well.

However, when he mentioned this to me it made me VERY uncomfortable and not so sure anymore.  It is hard because we live in a very small town and there are only two pediatric dental offices here and they both come from a town an hour away.  I'm thinking we may need to go to the other dentist and give them a try.

I would really, really, really feel most comfortable just taking him to Children's Hospital (3 hours away but worth it to me).  However, it is always a LONG (usually a minimum of 3 months) to get into anyone there or have any procedure done.  He has two cavities that are visible but possibly more and I don't think it would be good to wait that long.

I'm stressed :(

Quoting NatureMomof3:

I would change dentist. My ds is 7 and still sucks his thumb when he needs to calm himself. His dentist says we may have to deal with some fixes later but says he should be allowed to do it as long as he needs it. She is a great dentist and understands sensory issues and special needs kids. Get a new dentist!

by on Dec. 11, 2012 at 2:36 AM

We have decided we are NOT going to allow anything to be surgically implanted.  We are going to look into one (if there is one) that can be put in and removed by my husband, myself, his teachers or therapists.  If that causes any problems what so ever we will just stop using it.

We are going to order Chewelry for Christmas and see how that goes.  We are not going to push anything on him.  As with everything else this will have to be done at his own pace not because anybody else wants it to be done.

Thank you all for your input, suggestions and links/websites.  It has ALL been so helpful!!  This community is truly a wonderful thing and I am so glad it is here :)

by Silver Member on Dec. 30, 2012 at 12:10 PM

I agree here. 

My son has a chew tube.. it helps with his chewing. He chews on everything otherwise. He needs that comfort. 

Quoting VioletsMomTown:

First of all, my daughter used a paci for 3 years, she seemed to really find it soothing and calming, so we allowed it to avoid the meltdowns. I had to put a stop to it when she was going into daycare, because none of the other kids were doing it and I didn't want her to stick out too much. It was time.  SO...we threw them all away! I mean how much easier can it be? You just stop giving it to them! He will get over it, trust me.

Secondly, there are things called Chewelry which help kids with autism to get the oral fix, and they come in shapes that will not be so obviously recognized. Its actually very grounding for some kids to have something to chew on.

I just would never consider that procedure the dentist recommended, to me thats just crazy talk!

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