Habit Breakers

Is your child still sucking on their thumb? Or placing their tongue in between their front teeth? No worries, we are here to help.

We regularly use treatments known as habit breakers that will help children who have unsuccessfully tried to stop their habit and need a little assistance to finally quit.

Protect & enhance your child’s smile

Thumb sucking habit

Thumb sucking, or sucking on any fingers, is a common habit for young children.

While thumb sucking doesn’t always lead to tooth problems, if it continues during a growth spurt it can create complications that require a combination of orthodontic and surgical treatments to correct.

If diagnosed in time, the tooth misalignment caused by thumb sucking can be treated with less invasive treatments. Treatment, whether invasive or not, can also help break the habit.

Habit breakers do exactly what their name implies – they help patients break or stop a dysfunctional habit, like sucking thumbs or placing the tongue in between the front teeth.

One of the most common habit breakers we use is the tongue crib, which is a fixed appliance that keeps your tongue positioned posteriorly and also keeps you from resting your thumb on the roof of your mouth.

Usually the habit stops within days, but the appliance remains in the mouth for approximately six months in order to make sure the practice has completely vanished.

Very often, in cases where the patient has an open bite due to the habit, the bite will deepen spontaneously after treatment with a habit breaker.

What problems result from thumb sucking?

  1. Protruding upper anterior teeth (the upper front teeth are pushed outwards).
  2. Lower anterior teeth that lean in (the lower front teeth are pushed inwards).
  3. A condition called ‘open-bite’ which prevents the upper and lower front teeth from meeting even when the mouth is closed.
  4. Speech problems
  5. The tongue doesn’t sit well in the mouth, constricting the upper jaw and leading to a lateral cross-bite (teeth are shifted left or right)

Teeth grinding habit

Another commonly occurring para functional habit is bruxism or grinding of the teeth.

Moving the jaws back and forth or sideways while sleeping has the detrimental effect of wearing down your teeth.

It also places stress on the facial muscles and can be associated with frequently occurring headaches, muscle aches, ear pain and other symptoms of temporomandibular joint disease (a.k.a. “TMJ”).

A nightguard can help as it creates a barrier that will keep you from damaging your teeth and acts as a cushion that will help reduce the stress and relax the muscles and the joint.

Meet Our Doctors


Dr Gitonga Ndirangu graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) from the University of Nairobi in 2013. He is currently pursuing his Postgraduate Degree in Periodontology & Implant Dentistry.


Dr. Meera Shah graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) from Moi University in 2014. She specializes in routine dentistry, endodontics, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry.


Dr. Frankline Kidula graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) from the University of Nairobi in 2012. He is currently pursuing his Postgraduate Degree in orthodontics.


Dr. Johnson Mwangi graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery ( BDS) from the University of Nairobi in 1991. An MBA (Stratgic Management) in 2006 and a post graduate diploma in Oral Implantology from the University of Pretoria and New York University.

Emergency Cases

Please feel welcome to contact our friendly reception staff with any general or medical enquiry call us.

Opening Hours

8.00AM – 5:00PM Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
8.00AM – 1.00PM Wednesday and Saturday.