Tongue thrusting is a tongue movement in the mouth that pushes forward and backward against the teeth. It is also called an oral motor disorder because it usually becomes a subconscious habit. As the tongue thrusts into the mouth, it can cause problems with speech, feeding, orthodontics, and swallowing. The tongue thrust is commonly seen in children with a lisp or speech delay, which are common signs of tongue thrust, as any pediatrician will tell you.
This blog post will talk about tongue thrusting and how to stop it at home. We will also discuss how this disorder can affect your child’s growth and development. But before we get into that, let’s understand what tongue thrusting is and how it affects your child’s tongue muscles.
What is a Tongue Thrust?
A tongue thrust is a swallowing pattern in which an individual pushes the tip of the tongue against or between the teeth. It is an abnormal orthodontic condition, also known as an “open bite,” that is most common in children. A tongue-thrust is when you push your tongue forward when swallowing, speaking, or relaxing. The muscle function behind tongue thrusting can result in misalignment of the teeth that can even affect adulthood.
If you are experiencing problems with mouth breathing or perhaps an inability to swallow correctly, you should seek consultation with your dentist or orthodontist about ways to stop tongue thrusting.
What Causes Tongue Thrusting?
Thrusting your tongue forward can be a symptom of several issues. In a narrow palate, the upper jaw bone is too narrow, meaning a regular open mouth can’t be achieved because it isn’t wide enough. It impedes normal swallowing and could lead to orthodontic treatment and even Invisalign.
This condition could also require speech therapy in the future. The good news is that this treatment is usually adequate.
When the tonsils are large and covered in white matter, it can cause issues with speech and swallowing. – Prolonged use of bottles or pacifiers after 4 to 5 years of age, thumb sucking. If your child has been using a bottle or pacifier for more than five years, it may be time to switch back to nipples.
More enormous mouths mean your child can take in more milk, which is beneficial for speech and teeth development. However, if your child continues to thumb feed after four to five years old, there could be underlying issues causing the behavior, such as allergies or congestion.
Is there a Tongue Thrust Treatment?
Tongue thrusting is an orthodontic condition commonly seen in children. It is characterized by the forward movement of the tongue tip between the teeth to meet the lower lip during swallowing. Treatment for tongue thrusting may involve exercises, dietary changes, and orthodontic appliances. Hair ties or braces can be used to correct tongue thrusting.
However, if tongue thrusting remains uncorrected, orthodontic problems may occur, such as open bites, crooked teeth, etc. These issues can be minimized by timely treatment and attention to your child’s dental health.
How to Stop a Tongue Thrust at Home
There are many natural ways to stop tongue thrusting without expensive or invasive treatment. One of the simplest is to place sugar-free lifesavers on the tip of your tongue to weaken the habit. This will help you develop the skill of swallowing without tongue thrusting, which can be challenging when swallowing large mouthfuls of food. Another step is to bite down with good teeth alignment when swallowing.
This helps to force the mouth closed and stop tongue thrusting, as well as preventing food from falling out of the mouth or getting caught between the teeth. Finally, keep your lips apart when swallowing to observe if there is any squishing between them in the mirror.
If you notice any of these signs of tongue thrusting, you can press the tip against the roof of your mouth and bite your teeth together to stop the habit. By taking these simple steps, you can stop tongue thrusting for good and enjoy better swallowing and speech abilities.
What kind of issues can tongue thrust lead to?
In infants, tongue thrusting is the usual way of feeding. It slows down as the child ages, but it may persist as an annoyance or habit in some people.
Tongue thrusting can lead to open bites, which are open teeth caused by tongue thrust. These open bites can cause tooth decay and gum problems. Digit sucking and pacifier usage are also reasons why tongue thrusting occurs. It can also lead to speech impediments such as lisping due to the abnormal orthodontic condition that develops from the open bite.
If the habit isn’t adequately treated, tongue thrusting can lead to functional issues with their dental health, such as misalignments of teeth like an underbite with their lower teeth or bad bites in general. It can also lead to problems with speech development, requiring correction using a speech therapist.
A tongue thrust is a condition of the mouth and speech in which the tongue pushes against the front teeth when pronouncing certain sounds. This results in improper speech and bad oral health. If you’re experiencing tongue thrusting, here are some tips that can help you get rid of it: