Tongue thrust is when the tongue is too far forward at rest, while speaking, and during swallowing. It is often against the front teeth or sticking out of the mouth. Children with tongue thrust speak with a lisp, which sounds like th instead of s. They may ask for a "thnack" or a "thandwich" after "thchool."
This is a problem, because the front teeth become pushed out, and they don't respond well to orthodontic intervention. When the braces come off, the teeth go right back to being pushed out or crooked, because the underlying problem still exists. The tongue is still pushing on the teeth all day long.
Tongue thrust needs to be resolved before orthodontic intervention and can begin as young as three years old. An early start often results in better outcomes. Ideally, the problem should be resolved before the child's permanent teeth come in.
Therapy for tongue thrust needs to target not only articulation but the associated swallowing and resting posture issues. Over the years I have developed a knack for resolving tongue thrust, and I enjoy working with these kiddos. Check out my website and please give me a call or book an appointment for more information.