Time for Action
Consulting a dentist or pediatrician about tongue thrust is usually unnecessary for an infant, but there are some signs you can look for in older babies. Symptoms of abnormal tongue thrust include the tongue resting in the wrong position, prolonged sucking, open resting lips, and difficulty chewing food. If your older baby or toddler shows any of these signs, take them to see a dental professional or pediatrician. Your medical provider may also recommend getting in touch with an orthodontist and speech pathologist to ensure your child’s speech and teeth develop properly.
Treatments from a speech therapist typically begin at the age of eight, are customized to your child’s needs, and will take about three to five months, with follow up appointments four to six months later. In treatment, your child will likely receive activities and exercises to do at home, which they’ll have to follow consistently. They’ll also learn how to properly rest their mouth and how to swallow saliva, liquids, and solids correctly. Once any underlying problems have been corrected, these tongue thrust exercises can mitigate the condition so your child can have an easier time speaking, swallowing, and, eventually, socializing.