Tongue thrusting, a common habit in children where the tongue pushes forward between the teeth when swallowing or speaking, can seem harmless at first. But left untreated, it can lead to a cascade of issues, including:
- Speech sound errors: lisps, distortions, etc.
- Open-mouth posture: leading to dryness and potential infections
- Misaligned teeth: impacting aesthetics and function
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing: affecting nutrition and digestion
If you notice your child tongue thrusting, don’t despair! A speech pathologist who specializes in orofacial myology can be your child’s hero.
Orofacial Myology: Unveiling the Root Cause
Orofacial myology goes beyond traditional speech therapy by delving deeper into the muscles and functions of the face and mouth. This specialist can:
- Identify underlying causes: such as orofacial myofunctional disorders, tongue ties, and facial structure imbalances that contribute to tongue thrusting.
- Assess muscle imbalances: and develop targeted exercises to coordinate the muscles of the tongue, lips, and cheeks.
- Address orofacial myofunctional disorders: like incorrect resting postures, mouth breathing, and sucking habits that perpetuate the problem.
A Tailored Treatment Plan for Lasting Results
The good news is, with early intervention and the right approach, tongue thrusting is highly treatable. Your child’s orofacial myology specialist will design a personalized treatment plan that may include:
- Oral motor exercises: fun and engaging activities to improve tongue strength, coordination, and resting posture.
- Swallowing therapy: retraining the swallow reflex to ensure the tongue rests correctly on the palate during swallowing.
- Sensory integration: helping your child become more aware of their oral sensations and develop better control over their movements.
- Home practice: providing you with exercises and activities to reinforce the learned skills at home.
Investing in Your Child’s Future
Addressing tongue thrusting early on can have a profound impact on your child’s development. By seeking help from a speech pathologist specializing in orofacial myology, you’re investing in:
- Clearer speech and improved communication skills.
- A healthier oral posture and reduced risk of dental problems.
- More efficient chewing and swallowing, ensuring proper nutrition.
- Boosted self-confidence and social interaction.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment and help your child eliminate their tongue thrust: 281-766-3831.