Oral Habits in children are involuntary or voluntary acts that are performed by the children repeatedly and compulsively. These Oral Habits when performed by the children for long enough time then these can present the individual with many of the dentoalveolar and skeletal abnormalities.
Aetiology of Oral Habits
Oral Habits are always considered with some of the etiologic factors that can include family conflicts, jealousy, school pressure, peer pressure, stress and many others.
Oral Habits are most commonly seen in girls and the reason behind this is the problems that the girls have to face due to social pressure and also the single child have the chances of getting affected more than the one having peers.
1. Digit Sucking
Finger sucking and thumb sucking comes under the category of Digit Sucking. The main basics behind the reason of normal thumb sucking is that suckling in the infant age is the inherent reflex by the baby and this habits adds security feeling to the mind of baby and this Oral Habit continues in some of the babies due to emotional lack of support.
• Prolonging the eruption of permanent teeth.
• Position alteration of permanent teeth.
• Speech problem.
• Defective child speech pattern.
Discontinuation of this Oral Habit can lead to over anxious behaviour of the affected person so delicate care and treatment is required in this case.
• Palatal Crib
• Bluegrass appliance
• Medicaments e.g. Femite
2. Nail Biting
Before the age of 3-6 years this Oral Habit can be rarely seen in the children but the main reason that is thought behind this Oral Habit is the mental stress. But the chances of having any dental and skeletal malocclusion by this Oral Habit are very rare.
3. Mouth Breathing
This Oral Habit has the most common occurrence in children having nasal airway problems. Enlarged nasal septum can be the other reason. There are some tests that are performed to know if the child is mouth breather or not and these are water test, mirror test etc.
• Treatment of nasal impairments to correct the Oral Habit.
• Certain exercises that can help the child to get rid of this Oral Habit.
• Oral Screen.
4. Lip Biting
Another Oral Habit related with stress and it is most common Oral Habit that affects the children.
In this Oral Habit the lower lip get tucked below the upper teeth and thus there are chances of having the more overjet by the affected individual.
Treatment is usually palliative and moisturizing of the lips is necessary.