Oral Hygiene Despite a Tongue Thrust
Children with tongue-thrusting habits may be more susceptible to tooth decay because their oral cavities become very dry from breathing mainly through their mouth. Without the cleansing effect of saliva, decay-causing bacteria readily accumulate on the teeth. And if your child is wearing a habit-breaking appliance, brushing and flossing thoroughly can be challenging.
For this reason, encourage your child to brush twice a day with anticavity fluoride toothpaste like Colgate TotalSF Clean Mint. To help with flossing, ask your dentist or dental hygienist about flossing techniques and similar aids that can make the job easier when the tongue gets in the way. Above all, schedule regular dental visits so your dentist can check your child's teeth for cavities while monitoring the progress of any tongue thrusting treatment you may already be facilitating.
Tongue thrust can be a true hardship in the way of your child's facial and oral development, but when it affects his or her speech, general health or self-esteem, it's time to get involved. If you notice any unusual positioning in your child's tongue – during swallowing or rest – tongue thrust treatment may be one of the best long-term investments you can make.