Effectiveness of open bite correction when managing deleterious oral habits in growing children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Oral habits are common etiological factors for anterior open bites (AOBs) in growing children and adolescents. The objective of this review was to provide a literature synthesis evaluating the effectiveness of open bite correction in growing individuals with the use of habit-interception appliances.

Search methods:

Electronic searches were conducted on PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Web of Sciences, Scopus, Google Scholar, Scielo, and Lilacs databases. Trials registries were consulted for ongoing trials, and a partial grey literature search was also conducted.

Selection criteria:

The selection criteria included controlled clinical trials enrolling growing subjects who underwent habit-interception orthodontic treatment to correct dental and/or skeletal AOB.

Data collection analysis:

Data was grouped and analysed descriptively. A meta-analysis was only possible regarding crib therapy effectiveness. Qualitative appraisal was performed according to Cochrane Risk of Bias tool for randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and the MINORS tool for non-randomized clinical trials (nRCTs).


Two RCTs and nine nRCTs were identified. Most of them presented relevant limitations. Crib therapy demonstrated to be effective (+3.1mm overbite correction). However, most of the dental effects are seemingly lost with time; and the skeletal effects are still controversial. Other habit-interception appliances, such as spurs, were not sufficiently investigated.


Crib therapy appears to be effective on a short time basis. As for other habit-interception appliances, insufficient evidence could not provide reliable conclusions.

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