Tongue thrust is common. You may have noticed your child thrusting his or her tongue. This behavior will lead to oral health issues in the future, so you must correct this as soon as possible. Parents should pay attention when their children are doing something weird with their mouths and what those gestures could mean later on down the road. In this post, we’ll explain tongue thrust and what it means for your child. Firstly, let’s discover what tongue thrust is.
Tongue thrust causes serious dental problems, like an open bite that leaves people vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease. In particular, this condition is most common in children who may develop it because of poor eating habits or a tongue-tie – where the cord tied too low on their lower jaw makes them aspirate food into the back part of the mouth where bacteria thrive more easily than anywhere else around your body.
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Knowing the Signs of Tongue Thrust
Tongue Thrust is apparent when in motion and can be spotted by the eagle-eyed parent.
- With tongue thrust, the tip of the tongue sticks out between the teeth. This may occur when chatting or watching TV. Swallowing is often a good way of telling as the tongue will protrude out between the lips.
- Tongue thrust also shows in people who breathe through their mouths.
- When the front sets of teeth don’t meet when the mouth is closed, an open bite occurs. Speech impediments such as s and z sound lisping ensue. This issue is easily rectified.
Orthodontic treatment is exceptional when dealing with severe tongue thrust. Orthodontic devices work for both people with an open bite or other oral problems. This issue is common and dealt with often by experts.
Speech Therapy is also helpful for those diagnosed with orofacial myology. It is a known way to improve coordination between the lips, jaw, and tongue. Only ever see an expert with a record of this type of procedure.
How To Fix Tongue Thrust?
Do-It-Yourself Remedies are also important when trying to correct tongue thrusting. Young children, even toddlers in the ‘twos’ can seek treatment from mom. A lifesaver (sugar free of course,) on the end of the tongue will help the child train and eventually lose the habit altogether.
Biting on your jaw in the natural setting is also a good way to train the mouth. Just keep the lips apart to see if it’s working.
Mouthguards are good for tongue thrusting. It may be that you need a fixed one in cases of acute thrust.
Speech therapy is a difficult course that can be hard for children, but it’s worth the effort. The nine-week-long treatment with a six-month follow-up ensures an effective regimen and full cessation from talking incorrectly; they just need time to break such habits.
It also becomes more challenging as kids get older because of their increased years spent swallowing incorrectly which makes breaking these bad habits even harder – especially since puberty starts earlier in this age group than before (at 3 or 4).
But, catching on early helps. A speech therapist often starts working when your child has his/her first words and ends around 13+ when they’ve grown noticeably larger.
Gluck Orthodontics is a trusted name in orthodontic care. Dr. Gluck is a board-certified orthodontic specialist (a distinction only one-quarter of all practicing orthodontists today can claim). He is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.
Here at Gluck Orthodontics, we proudly provide our patients with the very latest in orthodontic care plus a little something extra from the friendly staff that we like to call ‘The Gluck Experience.’
To learn more about tongue thrust and oral health, schedule your initial orthodontic consultation, call us at 615-269-5903. Or visit us online or in person.
Dr. Joel Gluck has practiced orthodontics since 1983 when he opened his own office in Nashville. He earned his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, and his dental degree at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Gluck then completed an orthodontic specialty residency at the University of Michigan, one of the top five orthodontic training residencies in the country. He also wrote an original thesis and received a Master of Science degree.