Tongue Thrusting: Is Tongue Thrust Appliance important for kids

At times when our kids are unable to pronounce the first consonant of words like “sun” “smooth” we tend to think that they are doing it deliberately. We also think that it is really cute when they do it but little do we realize that this turns out to be a really big problem in future. This lisping problem is caused due to an early orthodontics problem called as abnormal fronting or tongue thrusting. Although this is a big issue and a common problem among the kids but still you do not have to worry about it as there are treatments available to cure it.

Causes of Tongue Thrusting

There are multiple reason why your kid is suffering from tongue thrusting. We all have observed that kids throw food out of their mouth as they are still learning to use their tongue. However the same does not happen with grown up kids. If your kid hasn’t developed incisors there is a strong possibility that he/she will be suffering from tongue thrusting. This also hampers with other development procedures of the body as well.

The other reason for tongue thrusting is the thumb sucking habit or if their bite is less. The condition of tongue thrusting is primarily associated with kids under the age of seven years but if not treated it can be carried further as well.

What to use to evade Tongue Thrusting

Treatment is determined based on the reason for tongue thrusting. If tongue thrusting is not severe then patients are fitted with a stainless steel tongue thrust appliance which more or resembles a mouth guard. Even though it is made out of stainless steel yet it fits comfortably in the mouth. As per standard dental procedure and guideline you can wear this appliance just for a few hours during day and night. Eventually your orthodontist will tell you whether you have to wear it permanently or not.

The appliance comes in different make and sizes. They are designed specifically to target tongue related issues. Certain appliances will have a grid located at the back of the teeth. This stops the tongue from moving forward between the top and bottom incisors. The other type is the “palatal crib” which has an acrylic bead at the back of the appliance and it rests over the tongue of the patient. It is sort of a retainer.

You can find such appliances at your nearby orthodontist. He/She will observe and examine the condition and basis the report he will recommend a tongue thruster. These appliances need to be adjusted as your child grows so it downright important that you get this done by a professional who is specialized in pediatric dentistry. Your child may also be recommended to undergo a speech therapy. With constant training your child will eventually get over this habit.

So keep a close check on your kid and if you observe any abnormality while he/she speaks then immediately consult your orthodontist.

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