Everyone loves a gurgling cute baby that is just starting to learn how to eat and speak. However tongue thrust is something to watch out for. Infants are just learning to use their bodies and tongue thrust usually disappears early on but for some kids it continues after infancy and can hinder their speech or their ability to swallow. There are times when even facial characteristic can change. To prevent or minimize the damage done by this tongue thrusting you can implement some exercises offered by doctors or specialists.
The Effect of Tongue Thrust on the Mouth
This condition is also known in the medical field as orofacial myofunctional disorder. It occurs to kids when they have their tongue too far forward and when it extends further than the lips.
You might not think this would be a dental issue, but, Pediatric Dentistry RI explains that the way the tongue is placed against the teeth can affect the way permanent teeth come in.
When you suspect this is an issue with your child you need to get it diagnosed. To do this, you need to work with a team of professionals that deal with the malocclusion as well as respiratory or other issues that affect the child, say the experts at Pediatric Dentistry RI
Once the medical issues are fixed, you can start tongue thrust exercises to minimize damage. This will help your child learn to speak and swallow correctly. You want to help your child learn proper tongue placement and swallow movements. You can do this through special exercises, but should see a specialist to determine the exercises that will help your child.
One of these exercise involves the use of a word list. This is designed with flashcards and helps children identify the correct position of the tongue when speaking and swallowing.
This is because certain syllables, or individual sounds, require the child to get used to moving the tongue in a certain way to pronounce certain letters like: “D,” “T,” “K” and “L.” This is the way it works:
- You Show a flashcard with the letter. You then exagerate and show the tongue placement and ask your child do the same.
- It is important that you practice. Getting the damage reversed takes a lot of practice but playing the flash card game can make it fun.
Singing is Beneficial Says Pediatric Dentistry RI
This exercise, practices pronunciation but allows kids to have fun. Le your child choose a song and sing with him.
This exercise works at controlling and creating the childs awareness of tongue placement. Kids with tongue thrust need to identify their problem and by singing, rhyming and playing games they can learn to correct the issue faster.