Tongue thrust (also called reverse swallow or immature swallow) is the common name of orofacial muscular imbalance, a human behavioral pattern in which the tongue protrudes through the anterior incisors during swallowing, speech, and while the tongue is at rest. Nearly all young children exhibit a swallowing pattern involving tongue protrusion, but by the age of six most have switched to a normal swallowing pattern. People who tongue thrust do it naturally and are usually unaware of the behavior. Continue reading
Suckling vs. sucking
Suckling is a normal physiological reflex in infants, which consists of small nibbling movements of the lips. The movements stimulate the smooth muscles surrounding the milk ducts of the lactating mother to contract and squirt milk into the infant’s mouth. When the milk is squirted into the mouth, it is only necessary for the infant to groove the tongue to allow the milk to flow back into the throat. The tongue, however, must be placed front to contact with the lower lip, so that the milk is in fact deposited on the tongue. The tongue-to-lip apposition is so common that it is usually adopted at rest, and it is frequently possible to gently move the infant’s lower lip and notice that the tongue tip moves with it, almost as if they were glued together. The suckling reflex normally disappears during the first year of life.
Nearly all modern infants engage in some sort of habitual non-nutritive sucking– thumb- or finger-sucking or sucking of a similarly shaped object. A vast majority do so during the period from 6 months to 2 years or later. Continue reading
Ever notice a gap in between your upper and lower teeth when you bite or while looking in the mirror? You could be having an open bite.
What is open bite?
Open bite is a malocclusion, a misalignment or incorrect manner in which two opposing teeth meet. This malocclusion is handled by an orthodontist, a specialist who deals with the growth and development of the face and how the teeth bite together, and with the diagnosis, interception and treatment of any abnormal occlusion. Continue reading