Tongue Thrusting FAQs

Tongue Thrusting FAQs

Posted October 16, 2014 by Wager-Evans Dental

tong Have you ever noticed how your child swallows? Does it look a bit awkward? Perhaps they have a tongue thrust.  Today, your Reno dentists, Dr. William Wager and Dr. Brian Evans, discuss some tongue thrusting FAQs.


Q: What is tongue thrusting?

A:  When a person’s tongue protrudes out of the mouth when the tongue is at rest, and when they swallow or speak, it is commonly referred to as tongue thrusting. It is indicative of an imbalance of the orofacial musculature.

Q: Why does my child have a tongue thrust?

A: Babies are born with it, but at the time it is called an “extrusion reflex.” It is also referred to as an infantile swallow, reverse infantile swallow, and reverse swallow.  It was coined “tongue thrusting” circa 1958.

Q: How many people don’t grow out of it?

A: Research indicates that 20 to 80 percent of orthodontic patients have some form of tongue thrust in the U.S. alone.

Q: What will happen if my child has this condition?

A: 1) If the condition is not corrected it can result in “buck teeth,” an open bite, crooked teeth, or a misaligned bite.  2) If it is not diagnosed and corrected before your child needs orthodontic treatment for crooked teeth and treatment ensues, when treatment is completed and the patient continues to tongue thrust the orthodontic treatment will be unsuccessful for the long term, eventually resulting once again in crooked teeth.

Q: What types of treatments correct the condition?

A:Five percent of tongue thrust cases cannot be corrected, but for those that can, speech and swallowing therapy is required.

About Your Reno Dentists

Dr. William Wager, Dr. Brian Evans, and our highly experienced team at Wager Evans Dental are devoted to our patients and their families, and dedicated to providing first-rate dental care in a comfortable, inviting environment. Located in Reno, we proudly welcome residents from Spanish Springs, Sparks, Incline Village, Dayton, Fernley, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation or your next dental appointment, visit our office, or contact us today by calling (775) 800-4845.