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FAQ:  Tongue Thrusting

Fix or stop thrust behavior: I am 24 years old and have a tongue thrust problem. I had braces as well into high school and my teeth were together in the front. Now that the braces have been off for several years a gap has formed. It is about 1 cm. I am concerned and not sure who to ask for help. A dentist told me that I have a tongue thrust, but did not suggest how to correct it. I'm just looking for some answers on how to correct this problem.... Visitor from MD

There are usually three reasons why the space would want to open up again.

First, teeth always want to go to the position of what they were before orthodontics, so it is essential to wear a retainer.

Second, the frenum attachment, that little muscle attachemnt under the top lip between the two front teeth may need to be snipped if it is pulling the teeth apart.

Lastly, if you are a tongue thruster, the tongue has to be reprogrammed. We do this by bonding a bar or wire to the back of your teeth with a small little sharp point that will make your tongue not want to press forward.

A Nazarian, DDS

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