Thumb and finger habits are usually present from birth and are very difficult to stop. Once the patient desires to stop he or she needs a reminder and a diversion to assist this difficult task.
Some appliances are uncomfortable or painful, they function with sharpened spikes to keep the thumb or finger out. Still another uses a cage to trap the digit. These appliances serve to force the patient into compliance.
Some of the newer appliance provide both the reminder and diversion with comfort. They function to help develop better swallowing function These appliances are relatively inexpensive.