About Us

A little bit about us …

Can you say OR-O-FA-CIAL MY-OL-O-GIST? That’s right, Orofacial Myologist. Quite a mouthful, isn’t it? (Pun totally intended.) You can call me Carla.

I have something personal to tell you …

My eldest daughter was born a thumb sucker. Cute, right? I assumed she’d stop when she was ready, or we’d help her fix it. Suddenly, years had ticked by, and my daughter continued to suck her thumb. I’d consulted all my dental and speech colleagues and tried every solution I could get my hands on; nothing worked. Her little habit was impacting on our family, our relationship and I felt angry toward her. She felt ashamed and unhappy. I had no idea how to help her stop. I was close to giving up hope.

After much research and training I found a technique that helped my daughter quit her habit. She had already turned 5 when she started this program, and it worked for her on the first day.

But I wasn’t happy to stop there. After more study, further independent research and developing my own thumb and finger sucking programs, I opened Australia’s first clinic of its kind in 2011. My daughter is now a teenager; she never resumed her thumb sucking habit. And in the meantime, I’ve helped hundreds of other children quit their thumb sucking habit, too.

MY PROFESSIONAL BIO

Carla Lejarraga is Australia’s leading expert in thumb and finger sucking habits of children.

Led by her own daughter’s plight to stop sucking her thumb, and her subsequent pioneering work and research in Orofacial Myology, Carla opened the first clinic of its kind – The Thumb Sucking Clinic – in 2011. The private clinic located in Townsville, Queensland, Australia, is dedicated to empowering children and their parents with the correct information, the right tools and confidence they need to kick their thumb sucking habits.

In a field often focused on the correction of teeth, Carla and her team holistically embrace their role as health professionals and place an emphasis on prevention. Combining research, facts and science, with the psychology, development and health and wellbeing of every child, each patient benefits from a customised program to combat the long-term effects of thumb and finger sucking. This includes jaw and facial development, teeth positioning and function of the facial muscles, chewing and feeding behaviours, speech development, posture, healthy airway development and future orthodontic treatment. It’s Carla’s unique approach to a common habit that has had immeasurable benefits for families of thumb and finger sucking children.

Carla holds a Bachelor Applied Health Science (Oral Health), is a member of the Dental Hygienist Association Australia, Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists Association, the International Association of Facial Growth (Orthotropics), and the Australian Association of Orofacial Myology. Carla is a qualified Breathing Educator, having trained with The Buteyko Clinic of Ireland in 2010 in California, and she was the Vice President of the Australia Association of Orofacial Myology Inc from 2012 to 2016.

Her ground-breaking research has been published by the world’s leading dental journal International Journal of Dentistry.

Carla teaches Orofacial Myology practice to dental and speech professionals throughout Australia with The Australian Orofacial Myology Lecture Series. She lectures locally and internationally regarding her work in child facial development and has been featured in various newspapers, magazines, and on ABC radio.

When Carla’s not busy raising her four children, performing in her local theatre company, planning fantastic costume parties with friends and family, or high-fiving her young patients for the amazing results they’ve achieved, you’ll find her planning the expansion of The Thumb Sucking Clinic. It’s her unwavering goal to see every thumb sucking child experience the life-long benefits of her program.

CLICK HERE to book your consultation with Carla and her team at The Thumb Sucking Clinic.

I’m here to help families

Our clinic empowers kids with the right tools and confidence they need to kick their thumb sucking habit.

We empower parents with the right information, take away their worry about their child’s habit, and provide a manageable plan for their child’s growth and development.

Thumb and finger sucking isn’t always just a cute little habit. It can cause issues with jaw and facial development, teeth positioning and function of the muscles. It can impact a child’s posture, the growth of their airways and breathing. It can increase the need for future orthodontic treatment, and exacerbates problems with chewing and feeding behaviours and speech development.

Most parents have exhausted every ‘solution’ available to quash their child’s thumb or finger sucking before I meet them. From putrid nail polish, Band-Aids, thumb guards and braces. They’ve threatened, yelled and often, cried. They’ve even been told by professionals that their child’s thumb or finger sucking needs to stop, but have only been given wishy-washy information, leaving them increasingly confused, upset or frustrated.

 

There’s no-one more experienced than me and my team in Australia.

At the Thumb Sucking Clinic, we take a unique approach to a common habit. We apply exhaustive research, proven facts and science, and combine them with the psychology, development, health and wellbeing of your child, to create a personalise treatment plan to suit their individual sucking habits, no matter their age.

Our hands-on approach is fun and exciting for kids. Not only do we understand why they suck, we talk to them about their habit in a way that no-one else has been able to before. When thumb and digit sucking has an enormous impact on children and families; the benefits of our program are immeasurable.