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How Does An Orthodontist Address A Tongue Thrust Issue?

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If you have a child with crooked teeth, then it may be time to start thinking about orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics can help to straighten the teeth, so they are placed in a healthier and more functional position. However, there are certain things that can greatly affect the way that orthodontics move the teeth. Tongue thrust actions can cause issues by moving the front teeth forward. Keep reading to learn what an orthodontist can do to help this concern. 

Appliance Insertion

One of the best ways to keep a tongue thrust from shifting the teeth further forward before orthodontic treatments can be used to align the teeth properly is to install an appliance. Dental appliances are metal or plastic devices that are secured in the mouth to retain the position of the teeth. This way, the other teeth can be moved around, and the condition will not worsen as the teeth are positioned correctly. 

There are a few different types of appliances that orthodontists use. A typical device will be made with a thick metal arch that runs along the inside edge of the teeth. This arch will have a wide plastic or metal section that sits along the upper or lower palate. This is the portion of the device where the tongue will thrust as it moves in the mouth. 

Appliances will secure in the back of the mouth and attach to the molars. In some cases, molar attached space saver devices will be used instead of the typical tongue thrust devices. This depends on the severity of the situation and the extent of the orthodontic work that needs to be completed.

Therapy Sessions

While the teeth can be moved around with the assistance of an orthodontist, the teeth will often move once again after the appliance is moved. This means that your child will need to learn how to stop thrusting the tongue. Therapy can be used to help reteach the tongue, and the therapy is called myofunctional therapy.

Myofunctional therapy is completed by an orofacial myologist. This professional is someone who can work with your child to help work and train the muscles of the face, neck, and head. This allows for the proper movement of the tongue and proper swallowing actions that do not cause thrust problems. Not only will the therapist work on movements, but they will also determine and teach the best resting posture. 

After the therapy is completed, your child will no longer thrust the tongue. This means that the malocclusion of the teeth is no longer a concern. Contact a dental office like Rosenzweig Orthodontics for more information and assistance.