Tongue Thrust – What you Need to Know

You may have noticed your child thrusting his or her tongue. This behaviour will lead to oral health issues in the future. It is important to correct this as soon as you can. In this post, we’ll take you through tongue thrust and why you should correct it ASAP. Let’s get going.

Tongue Thrust – What’s That?

A tongue thrust can cause serious dental problems, like an open bite that leaves people vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.

In particular, this condition is most common in children who may develop it because of poor eating habits or a tongue-tie, a cord tied too low on their lower jaw which makes them aspirate food into the back part of the mouth where bacteria thrive more easily than anywhere else on your body.

How to Tell Tongue Thrust?

Tongue thrust has a number of telltale signs. These can include the visible tongue between teeth, sticking out when you talk or swallow, as well as an extended tip that cannot touch anything on either side until it retreats back into your mouth.

Mouth breathing will happen. An inability to close lips completely will show you need expert attention. 

An open bite occurs when the front sets of teeth don’t meet, and this causes speech impediments such as lisping (lisp pronounced “s-lisp”) which is saying something without being able to pronounce some letters.

What Can Orthodontics Do?

One of the ways tongue thrust is treated in children and adults alike, but there are some exceptions. Orthodontic devices can offer good treatment for both groups as they work to correct an open bite or other oral problems from professionals who have expertise related specifically towards working on these issues.

DIY Remedy

Did you know that children as young as 2 years old can have their tongue thrusting habit corrected? Here’s how, and here are some other tips too! 

  • When your child shows signs of tongue thrust,  place sugar-free lifesavers on the tip of their tongues. The sweets will help weaken this bad behaviour over time if done regularly enough – it only takes 5 minutes every day for at least 3 weeks before success is evident. 
  • Try biting down with good teeth alignment while swallowing; don’t forget about keeping lips apart in order to see where the tongue falls or moves to.

Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy is difficult for children. A speech therapy course lasts 9 weeks. After which, 6 months of follow-up ensures an effective therapy regimen and full cessation from the habit. 

They need time because early successes lead them into adulthood faster than if you wait until things get more complicated. 

The earlier in their lives we recognize these problems – as soon as 3 or 4 years old when there’s still hope left at catching your little one before puberty kicks up its ugly voice.

Mouth Guard

A simple mouthguard for the treatment of tongue thrusting may be all you need. A more robust fixed appliance may be needed in severe cases. Check with your expert provider about the devices needed. 


Tongue thrust is treatable by experts. The above was an intro to the issue. At Childers Orthodontics in Illinois, our orthodontist can oversee your treatment from start to finish. We are open for new Children, teenagers, and adults to have an examination. We will explain all in easy-to-understand formats. So you can rest assured of your treatment quality.

Dr. Kyle R. Childers offers expertise in all procedures. This is to reduce the amount of time required for wearing orthodontic devices. Call us to schedule your first appointment for an orthodontic evaluation.




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