When Is the Best Time To Treat Tongue Thrust

Written by Vince Borg

Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist
B.Sc, B.Sp.Path, C.P.S.P

The phenomenon of tongue thrust can be a rather murky one. As the name implies, it occurs when children stick their tongues out through gaps in between front teeth and is usually caused by improper muscle tone around the mouth area. 

There is some controversy among speech pathologists as to whether or not tongue thrust has a positive impact on kids’ speech development.

One therapist claimed that open-mouth postures, such as those involved in tonguing motions, can be extremely significant and may even affect social skills later down the road.

Most children have some form of tongue thrust that they outgrow. This means that these infants will not experience any speech challenge whatsoever!

It is difficult, if not impossible, to say that there’s one “true way” of doing something.

This blog post will provide some actionable advice for parents who want help with their child’s tongue thrusting habits- as well as offer tips on how you can either intervene or just wait it out before reaching out in case treatment needs are ever addressed!

Babies’ tongue thrust problems

The first thing to understand is that a tongue protruding through the teeth at rest can be normal in infants.

But like many infant behaviours, we want them gone by around 6 months when babies start eating solid food and move away from suckle feeding patterns they were born with towards more grown-up ways of being fed; swallowing comfortably without any problems or issues involved.

Children’s throats are still developing until the age of 7 or 8, so it is possible that your child may have an unclear swallowing pattern.

The sooner you can get them started on speech therapy, for this reason, will help ensure their language development doesn’t suffer due to a lack of muscle control over what they’re trying to say with words!

Pacifier problems

The recommendation to get rid of the pacifier is not something that should be ignored.

The reason for this? Around 12-18 months, your child will likely be given instruction from their doctor about how long they can keep using one before it starts harming them!

The sooner you get your child off of thumb-sucking and/or pacifiers, the better! It is important for their speech development.

If this goes on longer than expected, it can lead to orthodontic problems which are treatable, but preventative measures should always be taken where possible.

Tongue related problems

The most common cause of open-mouth posture at rest and/or tongue thrust is a whole host of ear and nose throat issues.

You’ve had to deal with these throughout his life, from extreme seasonal allergies to surgically repaired deviated septum.

Suppose your child has “hyponasal” or always has sniffles.

In that case, it might be time for them to see an ENT doctor who specialises in issues related to the nose and mouth breathing habits which could cause blockage of their nasal passage due to poor positioning when sleeping at night, causing difficulty inhaling enough oxygen.

Many children also experience chronic rhinitis or seasonal allergies.

If you notice any of these conditions in your child’s nose, then it never hurts to get some information from an expert because they can help prevent future treatments needed for tongue thrusts!

Treatment time

So, if your child is on the older side (i.e., in kindergarten or older) and has stopped using a pacifier but isn’t suffering from any obvious medical problems like cleft lip/palate issues that would cause tongue thrusting behaviour during the speech, then you may have a genuine case of this posture issue at rest.

In addition to being unaware whether they’re protruding their tongues when producing certain sounds such as S & Z.

If your child is 5 years old or older, they may need to see a speech pathologist.

This special type of therapist can help children with developmental delays learn how correctly use their voices and talk more clearly around others so that it doesn’t seem like there’s something wrong! The sooner we get started on this journey together-the better chance you’ll have at success.

Your therapist will help you assess the impact of a tongue thrust on speech as well any lingering swallowing issues your child may be exhibiting; does this pattern truly represent classic “tongue-thrusting”?

He or she can design an effective treatment plan to address both their needs and should empower parents like yourself with active participation in it.

Therapy can be a difficult and emotional journey, but with the right support from experts such as speech pathologists or orthodontists, it will get easier.

The therapist should determine whether dentists/ortho doctors need to become involved in order for you to achieve your goals efficiently because they have an experience that is invaluable when treating children.

While speech therapy can have a beneficial impact on the severity of an individual’s dental challenges, it is important to keep in mind that most children with extreme cases will need orthodontic work performed for a long time before achieving meaningful development.

The bottom line is that there are many factors which can contribute to tongue thrust.

Pacifiers or any other oral habit may, over time, lead the way in creating an imbalance in one’s anatomy and musculature patterns- but don’t worry!

You should always rule out ENT problems before investigating this further as it would be very difficult (if not impossible) otherwise, determine what caused your problem if everything else has been ruled out already.

With so many options to choose from, you might want to make sure that your decision is the best one.

Orthodontists and speech pathologists can give professionals insight into how a certain treatment could affect not only dental health but also voice quality for those who have lost their teeth as well!

In addition, trained dentists are experts in caring about oral hygiene by providing routine cleanings or checkups annually, which ensures no serious conditions develop before being treated professionally if necessary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *