Tw weeks ago we made a visit to the dentist for three munchkins. No signs of cavities in little teeth, and the morning was quite the success as I left with all three happily playing with new toothbrushes. As I expected, they were concerned at Selah’s teeth being so spread and the callouses from how much she sucks her fingers.
It started almost from birth. I have pictures of Selah as a sweet itty bitty, even then sucking the same two fingers. I did try to get her to switch them out for a passi, but I certainly didn’t make as much effort as I could have. I have to accept the fact that not making it a priority when it would have been easier was certainly a mistake. Here we are at five years old with a 25% overbite and huge crooked gaps.
They are suggesting that we consider a permanent retainer that would inhibit the finger sucking. The retainer is basically a wire that is attached to the back of her top teeth making it uncomfortable to suck the fingers. It can be worn up to 6 months but they expect the habit to be broken within three months.
Unfortunately the retainer is NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS! (((faint))) Our cost would be $300 after insurance. Well, if you know anything about me, you know I’m not jumping on that bandwagon. If it’s necessary we will do what we have to. But…..We’ll be working on other options first.
In the past I’ve made efforts on different ways to stop the sucking. And, I admit, our efforts…ahem….sucked… We tried band-aids, gloves, that nasty tasting stuff you brush on like polish. At one point I had her hand bandaged up to look like a cast. I could say nothing worked, but the reality is that we didn’t stick it out long enough.
This time had to be different. I know someone who was so proud of how she ‘reasoned’ with her son and convinced him that the grocery store was out of diapers to get him potty trained. Not something I would brag about, since he was almost ready for kindergarten. Obviously, I’m NOT proud of the fact that we’ve made it to the point that Selah can be reasoned with for this. But since she is we sat down and talked about what her finger sucking was doing to her teeth and her fingers. We talked about her nails not growing properly, her teeth being out of line and needing braces in the future and ultimately that this could cost a lot of money and be very painful to her. So, instead of jumping on the idea of paying $300 for the retainer I told Selah we would put $100 in her savings account instead, if she could stop on her own.
We went out and I let her choose some dainty little band-aids to keep on her fingers as a reminder. Is it bad that I hid the Barbie band-aids from her and directed her to some generic cute fairies? Fairies it was and she’s worn them all week not sucking her fingers once.
So, I’m calling it an incentive, not a bribe. We’ll be keeping her fingers in band-aids for several weeks to make sure that it sticks. We’ll see….