When you think about pediatric dental health, you usually think about things like making sure your child brushes their teeth enough or making sure they don’t eat too much sugar. However, something you should definitely be watching out for is tongue thrusting. Pediatric dentists know that tongue thrusting can cause all sort of trouble with swallowing, chewing, speaking, etc., so it is something we caution parents to look out for. We’ve written a blog detailing the causes and common treatments for tongue thrusting. Read on to discover more!
What is Tongue Thrusting?
This is what happens when the tongue pushes against the back or front teeth while a person is speaking, swallowing, or while the tongue is at rest. Over time this pushes the teeth out of their natural position, causing what is called an “open bite.” This is simply a term for when the teeth do not come together in the mouth the way that they’re supposed to. It can also cause front teeth to stick out, making it impossible for a person to fully close their mouth.
Related Post: Orthodontic Dentistry Advice: Fixing Tongue Thrust
What Causes Tongue Thrusting?
There are a lot of different causes of tongue thrusting, but it is primarily caused by thumb sucking. Children who suck their thumbs can get used to the feeling of their tongue being pushed toward the front of their mouth. When they stop sucking their thumb, their tongue still tends to slide forward and press against the back of the front teeth. It can also be the result of macroglossia which is a term for having an enlarged tongue. Other causes are certain nipples used for bottle feeding, allergies that cause the tongue to lie low in the mouth, swollen tonsils, and more.
What Can You Do About Your Child’s Tongue Thrusting?
If you suspect tongue thrusting, set up an appointment with a pediatric dentist who can diagnose your child. Fortunately, a solution exists for tongue thrusting. For an open bite in children, sometimes a tongue crib is used in the roof of the mouth. This is a device guides the tongue properly. It is also wise to consult with a speech therapist who can help your child retrain their tongue to not push against the back of their teeth. Most often these two things used in conjunction are the best treatment for this issue.
See Dr. Scott For Your Pediatric Dentist Needs!
If you think that your child might be struggling with tongue thrusting, we suggest setting up an appointment with an expert pediatric dentist like Dr. Scott. It is important to seek help from a pediatric dentist as soon as you have any suspicions about a tongue thrusting condition. The earlier it’s caught, the easier it will be to fix. A pediatric dentist will be able to sit down with your family and suggest the best treatment solutions for your child. Contact Dr. Scott today!