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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:49 pm 
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Is it true that habits like mouth breathing and resting the tongue in a forward position in the mouth and making the wrong tongue movements when swallowing (immature swallow) can lead to orthodontic problems? If so, are there any exercises that can be done to change these habits? Is there an age when children sometimes grow out of this before it causes any lasting damage? Do dentists refer to Speech Language Therapists for these issues in younger children?

Loads of questions?? Sorry.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:05 pm 
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Hi Mystery...I take it this was picked up at a dental appointment ? I believe tongue thrusting does cause the upper teeth to protrude , and although babies swallow with their tongue foward, by the age of 7 , children should be swallowing with their tongue on the roof of their mouth. I'm not sure if the dentists refers to speech therapist..it's all connected so maybe? Or can the GP ? Can the dentist suggest any exercises ?

Any ear, nose and throat problems ? Any speech problems ?

Try not to worry.There's always something, isn't there ! :(


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:05 pm 
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My friend's son had problems with his tongue and saw a speech therapist. He did very simple exercises like sucking through a straw and this helped immensely.

I am sure this is something that can be easily remedied.

Aren't children a worry!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:33 pm
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yes, it's all true. You can have a look into orthotropics, they do correct the position of the tongue, swallowing etc.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:46 am 
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My son has suffered from mouth breathing in the past. We thought it was an adenoidal problem. It turned out that his nose was congested so he literally couldn't breathe through his nose. He had a nose spray to remedy this.

In the past, you didn't need a dr's referral to go to a speech therapist but could refer yourself. Not sure if that's still the case.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:09 am 
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Thank you everyone. It's not something the dentist has picked up but I've read a bit about it as an older relative is having to undergo jaw surgery. Then after having read the possible causes of the symptoms the relative has that require jaw surgery to correct I started to notice (as one does!!) that my children might have the early signs and I came across all this stuff on how facial growth could be affected by hanging your mouth open, immature swallow etc. Then the only stuff I could find out about sorting this out young, if necessary, was American websites. Now I have the term orthotropics it has lead me to loads of UK stuff so thank you.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:18 pm 
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Orthotropics itself is a highly controversial subject with no recognised evidence base or widely accepted research to support it.There is not much support for it amongst dentists in the UK. Exercise caution.

There are numerous reasons why orthodontic care may be needed, and several of them, like thumbsucking, are things children simply grow out of. Depending on the timing, the teeth may need no intervention whatsoever. Also, it may be that the mouthbreathing etc is indeed because of an underlying jaw discrepancy or something else as pheasantchick rightly suggests, i.e. a symptom not a cause.
Your family dentist is best placed to advise/refer if you are concerned (and although I have never heard of direct referral to a SLT, would assume this happens via GP).


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:21 pm 
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Yes have just discovered that the orthotropics thing all seems to be based on the opinion of one man ........ is that right or is that just the impression one gets from a bit of half-baked googling? But there are "conventional" orthodontists who use removable expansion devices too aren't there?

Have mentioned it to the dentist and got a free evaluation meeting with the practice orthodontist.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:33 pm 
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That's great Mystery, you get a consultation to find out for sure if there is a problem. Hope all goes ok. :)

Sometimes when I read my medical books I can practically fit any symptom to a condition and once was convinced I had a brain and thyroid tumour and even perhaps yellow fever :shock: thinking logically I thought actually, it would be pretty bad luck.I'm sure the girls are fine...but it's good to know for sure.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:58 am 
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:lol: Pretty sure I've got all those things too, and more besides. The surprising thing is I've lived sooooo long.


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