This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
I wrote about this recently regarding clients who are lower-functioning, but in general —
Changing any oral habit is a matter of engaging in the following points:
- Identify the problem.
- Help the client become aware of the problem: What can he do to track how often he does this?
- Get more info about it: E.g., what does the orthodontist/dental say about it and what methods do they recommend.
- Identifying specifics about the problem: How often it occurs, when, where, under what conditions, etc.
- Inform the client about the long-term problems that are possible due to it
- Design a plan: Do you want to fix this? If so, when? Where? How?
- Identify a goal: I will stop grinding my teeth by…
- Identify treatment strategies: I will chew gum every time I find myself grinding, etc.
- Set up a series of short-term rewards: No grinding during this car ride means that I get a turn on mom’s cell phone while waiting for her at the grocery store…
- Set up a long-term reward: When I accomplish this I will receive a new game, an overnight party with my pals, a puppy…
My book called How to Stop Thumbsucking discusses these types of things in regard to thumbsucking and other oral habits and the basic processes are the same.