Tongue Thrust in Pediatric Patients
Parents will do anything to make sure their children have what they need to grow and thrive. We spend countless hours researching everything there is to know about health and wellness. We become experts in academic subjects just to help them with their homework. Parents even make choices about careers and places to live based on what is best for their children.
For parents of pediatric patients, tongue thrust may be something of which you’ve never heard. However, it is not something to ignore. Tongue thrust can lead to a number of issues. In this article, we are discussing tongue thrust, what it is, how it affects your child, and what you can do about it.
What is Tongue Thrust in Children?
The act of pressing the tongue against the teeth when swallowing or at rest is known as tongue thrust. Every day, the average person swallows 2,000 times, and pressure is applied with each swallow. When the tongue is resting improperly in a child’s mouth, it is applying four to six pounds of pressure to their teeth thousands of times each day. Even when they are not swallowing, however, the tongue may be resting in the wrong place, putting unnecessary pressure on their teeth.
Everyone is born with a tongue thrust. By the age of 12 months, the tongue thrust should disappear. There are a number of reasons why the tongue thrust may continue:
- Long-term thumb sucking, the use of a pacifier, and the use of a bottle
- Cavities or an accident can cause the premature loss of “baby” teeth.
- Enlarged Tonsils and adenoids
- Factors that are inherited
What Are The Effects of Tongue Thrust on Children?
A few of the effects of a tongue thrust include:
- Dental Issues: With the tongue pushing against the teeth, tongue thrust can lead to dental issues such as an open bite. Essentially, the tongue may push the teeth forward or there may be a gap between the top and bottom teeth.
- Teeth Grinding: Teeth grinding happens when your teeth are not correctly aligned. When you learn to maintain your tongue on the roof of your mouth, it helps to align your cranial bones, which can help you stop grinding your teeth.
- Speech Issues: When a child has a tongue thrust, it can lead to a speech impediment such as a lisp. A lisp describes a condition where a child’s “s” sound is pronounced more like “th.” Speaking with a lisp can be embarrassing for a child.
- Mouth Breathing: A child with tongue thrust will likely experience mouth-breathing. Mouth-breathing can lead to poor sleep and even sleep apnea. Fatigue from poor sleep can lead to a lack of focus in school and stress.
The effects of tongue thrust can be frustrating for children. Their quality of life can be dramatically impacted by the tongue not resting properly in their mouth. Here is what parents need to know about correcting tongue thrust in their children.
What Can Parents Do About Their Child’s Tongue Thrust?
At IJustWantTo Correct My Tongue Thrust, we have developed a seven-week program to help retrain the tongue to rest properly in a person’s mouth. With our course, you and your child will receive:
- Seven weekly lessons with three to five different tongue exercises each week to help you learn how to swallow correctly. This new way of swallowing will become a habit.
- This is a website-based service. Our software includes online tutorials that explain to you how to perform the activities. The straightforward exercises are well-explained. They do not hurt and they are not hard to learn.
- You will receive a "Tongue Stick" and a "Remember" bracelet, both of which will aid you in forming new habits.
- After you make a purchase, you will receive access information through email and on your screen! The bracelet and innovative Tongue Stick will be mailed to you.
This program is as effective with adults as it is with children. Usually, a child isn’t mature enough to seriously perform the exercises and form new swallowing habits until the age of 7 or 8. Of course, if you are willing to totally support your child’s efforts, it will not hurt to present the exercises at a younger age.