When I was little I sucked my thumb. My parents would yell at me so eventually, I only did it when they weren’t looking. This part is embarrassing. Even though I’m a teenager, I still wake up sucking my thumb. I don’t do it on purpose, I just notice my thumb is in my mouth a lot when I wake up. My parents always told me if I needed braces I’d have to pay for it myself. I’ve gotten to the point where I realize I need braces. Are there affordable dentists who can help me? Would it even do any good if I can’t stop sucking my thumb in my sleep?
You seem like a very mature young woman and have nothing to be embarrassed about. When you’re sucking your thumb at night it’s not evidence of lacking self-control. At this point in your life, it’s just an unconscious habit. You’re not doing it intentionally.
There are a couple of things which might help. First, most drug stores sell a nail polish which tastes bad. It’s designed to help people stop sucking their thumb. Another option would be to wrap your thumb with a bandage at night to help stop yourself from sucking.
Affordable Help from Dentists
You didn’t mention your exact age, just that you’re a teenager. If you’re under 18, a dentist can’t legally treat you without your parents present. Hopefully, they’ll change their mind about helping you. But, even if they make you pay for your braces, they should be willing to go with you.
Most dentists are compassionate and got into their field to help people. They often have payment plans, either in-house or with Care Credit, that will allow you to pay off your treatment. That will let you get your braces, but pay it out slowly.
Adult Options in Braces
If your parents won’t allow you to get the treatment you need, don’t despair. I know when you’re 18 you’ll likely be going to college and entering the workforce. A mouth full of metal is the last thing an adult wants.
These days, there are “invisible” braces, called Invisalign. These use aligners instead of metal wires and brackets. No one will even be able to tell you’re wearing them, even at a conversational distance.