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Why Tongue Thrusting Is Dangerous And How You Can Stop

If your child has a habit of pushing their tongue against their teeth when they swallow, it’s likely that they have a condition known as tongue thrusting. While this can be a benign habit in some cases, it can also be dangerous if not addressed in time. Here’s what you need to know about tongue thrusting and how you can stop it.  

What Is Tongue Thrusting? 

Tongue thrusting (or reverse swallowing) is when an individual pushes the front part of their tongue against the back of their upper front teeth when they swallow or speak. This can cause dental and speech issues over time if left unaddressed, so it’s important to recognize and treat the condition in early childhood. 

Dangers Of Tongue Thrusting 

The main concern with children who practice tongue thrusting is that over time it may cause several dental problems such as misalignment, open bites, and overcrowded teeth due to the constant pressure put on them by the tongue. Additionally, because the tongue plays an important role in speech production, this condition can also lead to language delays or impairments if left untreated for too long. 

How To Stop Tongue Thrusting 

Fortunately, there are several ways to address this problem effectively. Working with a qualified speech therapist is one of the best options since they will be able to provide exercises that help train your child’s mouth muscles so they can learn better habits when speaking or swallowing. Additionally, you may want to consider using a mouth guard at night which will help keep your child’s tongue away from their teeth while sleeping. Finally, eliminating certain foods from your child’s diet such as sugary snacks and drinks can also help reduce the frequency of tongue thrusting episodes over time. 


Tongue thrusting is not something that should be taken lightly as it can potentially lead to serious dental and speech issues if left untreated for too long. That said, there are several strategies you can use such as working with a qualified speech therapist or using a mouth guard at night that will help reduce the frequency of these episodes significantly over time. Remember that prevention is key here—so make sure to address any concerns early on before they become bigger problems down the line!

What are the dangers of tongue thrusting?

Tongue thrusting can cause problems with speech, misalignment of teeth, and speech impediments. It can also lead to improper swallowing and other oral health issues such as poor jaw development.

How do I know if I’m tongue thrusting? 

If you have difficulty forming certain sounds like “th” or “v”, or if your tongue regularly pushes against your teeth when you swallow, then you may be experiencing tongue thrusting.

How can I stop tongue thrusting? 

The most effective way to stop tongue thrusting is through a comprehensive treatment plan that includes myofunctional therapy exercises, aimed at retraining the muscles in the mouth and jaw, along with braces or other orthodontic treatments to correct misalignment of teeth. Additionally, avoiding sugary foods and drinks and maintaining good oral hygiene habits can help reduce the risk of developing tongue thrusting disorder.