Habits are tongue, lip, pacifier and thumb sucking; leaning on one’s hand, nail biting, lip licking, facial mannerism (excessive movements) etc. Sometimes, if the infants are not allowed sufficient time or uses an incorrect sucking technique, they may find satisfaction in sucking their fingers, or pacifiers or objects or their tongue. Intensity duration and frequency of the habit may affect tongue rest posture, mastication, TMJ, lips health, facial skin and more.
The OMT is trained to apply self awareness and behavior modification techniques to eliminate the habit and optimize oral functions. The OM therapist uses prizes and rewards and follows the success in children for
30 days, while the family is coached on how to achieve long-term success.
The habits continues to encourage abnormal growth and development and may lead to orthodontic problems, TMJD, perioral skin conditions, dry and cracked lips, narrow palate, nail and finger skin infections etc. Attention must be paid to underlining physiological, psychological disorders and behavior problems.
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–Gomez, FM et al. Relationship between non-functional masticatory activity and central dopamine in stressed rats. 2010. J Oral Rehabil; 37:827-833.
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–Norman RAV. Digit-sucking: a review of the literature, clinical observations and treatment recommendations. Int J Orofac Myol. 1997;23(special issue):14-34.