Tongue thrusting is a condition that affects babies. It is normal while breast and bottle feeding. However, if the condition doesn’t correct itself, it can continue into childhood and adulthood, causing orthodontic problems. But not to worry, there are appliances available to correct tongue thrusting.
At Duval Orthodontics, located in Warner Robins and Albany, Georgia, our team specializes in many orthodontic conditions, including those caused by tongue thrusting. Dr. J.A. Duval is our orthodontic specialist and offers many treatments for the issues caused by tongue thrusting.
Tongue thrusting is a condition that occurs when your tongue pushes forward into your teeth, leading to an orthodontic issue known as an open bite. The condition is most often seen in babies or children but can sometimes carry into adulthood.
In babies, tongue thrusting is actually considered normal, due to bottle and breastfeeding. Usually, though, once they’re done with that stage of development, the tongue thrusting stops, and there’s no permanent damage.
However, with certain types of pacifiers or prolonged use of bottles, your child’s tongue thrusting may not go away and cause an open bite. That not only affects the way they eat but may also lead to issues with their speech.
While bottle feeding and breastfeeding are common causes of tongue thrusting, they’re not the only reason your child may be dealing with this issue.
These other causes may include:
Any of the above issues may make it almost impossible for your child to stop thrusting their tongue. If it’s not taken care of in childhood, the problem can continue into adulthood, causing other issues.
Adult tongue thrusting may not be as obvious as it is in children, but you may experience trouble with eating, as well as trouble swallowing. You could also be thrusting your tongue in your sleep.
It’s essential to get the proper treatment for tongue thrusting as early as possible.
At our facility, Dr. Duval offers orthodontic treatments for tongue thrusting. For children, the best device to treat tongue thrusting is known as a tongue crib.
The tongue crib is similar to a retainer, as it fits in the mouth the same way. However, the tongue crib differs because it has a cage-like structure that rests behind your front teeth. The cage prevents your tongue from thrusting forward and stops other habits like thumb sucking.
As an adult, the tongue crib may help fix the open bite that chronic tongue thrusting can cause. If your tongue thrusting is caused by allergies, controlling them can stop the habit.
If you need help with tongue thrusting, call our office for an appointment at one of our two convenient locations in Albany and Warner Robins, Georgia. You can also book an appointment with Dr. Duval using our online scheduling tool.