Tongue thrust orthodontic treatment in Downers Grove

Free Orthodontic Consultation in Elmhurst and Downers Grove for tongue thrust and bite correction

Recently I looked at two teenage siblings who came in for a free orthodontic consultation. They both complained about excessive spacing. From the distance, I noticed gaps in between their teeth, open bites, and their tongue, positioned right behind their front teeth! Upon complete examination, they had all the tell-tale signs that their tongue was responsible for their problems. We discussed at length various procedures to taming the tongue. This is key for long-term stability and avoiding relapse once the smile and the bite are improved.

What is Tongue Thrust?

Tongue thrust, often referred to as “reverse or infantile swallow,” is a swallowing habit in which the tongue pushes against the front teeth rather than the roof of the mouth. Untreated, it can create a myriad of problems:

-Open bite malocclusions, or vertical space between the upper and lower front teeth, with the inability to chew properly.
-Overjet, or increased horizontal distance between the upper and lower front teeth, with excessive flaring or protrusion and increased risk of traumatic dental injuries.
-Misalignment: The tongue is a mighty muscle, and can push the teeth out from the basal bone, creating excess spacing and tipping.
-Speech difficulties: Open bites and improper tongue positions can affect speech patterns, leading to issues with the pronunciation of certain sounds.
-Appearance concerns: It doesn’t look too pretty!

Taming the Tongue Thrust- customized orthodontic treatment options at Premier Orthodontics & Dental Specialists in Elmhurst and Downers Grove

-Behavioral Modification: Acknowledging the habit early (especially in children) is crucial, as correction can become more challenging with age.
-Tongue Thrust Therapy: Involves daily exercises in learning correct tongue posture and swallowing. We may refer you to a speech therapist or orofacial myologist to help you learn proper techniques.

-Oral Appliances: As orthodontists, we are trained to detect early bad oral habits and recommend fixed or removable habit correctors (tongue cribs, munchies, tongue tamers, or spurs), to discourage tongue thrust and promote proper tongue posture. We love to see our patients as early as age seven or eight for a free orthodontic consultation since early intervention is key to effectively managing tongue thrust and preventing associated dental problems.

-Orthodontic Treatment: We offer braces, clear aligners, habit appliances, or a combination of these, to correct dental or skeletal issues that have developed due to persistent tongue thrust. They all aim to break the tongue thrust habit and correct the misalignment, establishing a good bite and a pleasing smile.

-Continuous Monitoring: Regular check-ups after completing your orthodontic treatment are essential to monitor stability and make necessary adjustments to retention plans. Sometimes a combination of fixed and removable retainers with a tongue crib may be the answer to prevent problems from reoccurring.

Your new smile is one call away!

if you’re tired of looking at your smile, then fix it! Break the habit, close those gaps, and retain it!
Call Premier Orthodontics & Dental Specialists or text us at 630-279-5345 to schedule a free orthodontic consultation!