Habit appliances are useful to help stop a thumb or finger sucking habit and/or to help retrain an improper tongue position or swallowing pattern. It is sometimes necessary to use a habit appliance to minimize the harm and distortion that certain habits or tongue postures can have on teeth and a child’s developing bite. Most habit appliances are attached to the back molars and are not removable.
When early loss of baby teeth occurs, this can cause remaining teeth to drift into the empty space. To maintain space necessary for permanent teeth to erupt, a space maintainer is used. Space maintainers are made of stainless steel and/or plastic and are not removable.