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Braces Tongue Thrust Specialists
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Alizah Shahar, MS, CCC-

Tongue thrust affects 33-50 percent of school-aged children and teens, and if left untreated, can lead to dental issues requiring braces. TASL Speech Therapy Consultants' Alizah Shahar, MS, CCC-SLP/OMT, specializes in orofacial myofunctional therapy, a technique that corrects the underlying problem and restores normal tongue movement to minimize orthodontic relapse or interruptions in orthodontic treatment. Call our office located in Memorial City and Hedwig Village, Houston, Texas, to make an appointment, or book one online today.

Myofunctional Therapy & Speech Therapy

located in Houston, TX

Braces Tongue Thrust Q & A

What is the definition of tongue thrust?
When eating or speaking, a muscle imbalance forces the tongue towards or through the front teeth, causing tongue thrust. Though a forward-pushing tongue is common in babies, children should grow out of it and achieve normal tongue movement. Some adults may still be dealing with a childhood issue.

This condition frequently persists as children grow older as a result of:

  • Sucking the thumb

  • Clenched teeth

  • Allergies

  • Tongue-tie

  • Poor swallowing techniques​

When it comes to braces and tongue thrust, what's the connection?
The tongue is a strong muscle. When it pushes against your child's front teeth every time he or she swallows (about 2,000 times per day), it causes two dental problems.

The tongue's pressure generates an open bite, which throws the upper and lower teeth out of alignment. Once the teeth have moved, your child will require braces to return them to their original position.

It's critical to get orofacial myofunctional therapy before receiving braces or while wearing braces to correct tongue thrust. Otherwise, the aberrant tongue movement will persist after the braces are removed, pushing their teeth out of alignment and causing relapse.

What symptoms arise as a result of tongue thrust?
Tongue thrust generates a slew of visible signs and symptoms. To begin with, you can see your tongue between your teeth. When you speak, swallow, or rest, the tip of their tongue may protrude.

You may also notice the following:

  • Breathing through the mouth

  • When relaxing, keep your mouth open.

  • Unable to seal your mouth.

  • The upper and lower front teeth do not meet.

  • Eating might be slow or messy.

  • Speech stuttering (lisp)

  • Open Bite


When the upper and lower teeth do not overlap adequately in the front, it is called an open bite. When you shut your mouth, they tilt outward and do not contact.

What is the treatment for tongue thrust?
Ms. Shahar uses orofacial myofunctional therapy to address tongue thrust, which involves using specialized exercises to retrain the muscles involved in swallowing, chewing, and speaking. During therapy, you will learn the proper tongue posture at rest, how to keep your lips closed, and how to swallow with the correct tongue movement.

Patients may wear an oral appliance that restricts tongue mobility to help them break the habit. However, the device only partially relieves the pressure on the tongue while swallowing and does not address the underlying cause of the condition.

If you or your child is showing signs of tongue thrust, call or arrange an appointment with TASL Speech Therapy Consultants now.

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