Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tongue Thrust

It was my six month cleaning and check up at the dentist this morning, and for the first time since I had to complain about my tooth hurting so bad I need a root canal I had a few questions. Question one, do I have to put Eryn on my insurance, or can I just bring her in for cash/credit? The answer was as I expected, it depends on your comfort zone vis-a-vis the safety net...i.e. if you're freaked that she might get a mouth full of cavities and need all sorts of work, put her on insurance. If you're expecting routine cleaning and just some hanging out to get used to the dentist and your insurance is going up 20$+ a month just because of her dental, bring her in twice for a $100 a pop (less taxes...yea flex plan) and call it good. Then she said, "Of course, if she's a sugar fiend..." Sigh. Does it count that she doesn't drink sugared pop?

Question two - my front teeth have spread an almost unnoticeable amount. Age? Nope...she explained to me while John Cougar's "Hurts so Good" was playing in the background that it was "tongue thrust". She had my immediate attention. But it wasn't anything exciting. Rather it has to do with how I rest my tongue. Most likely I rest it against the front of my teeth instead of in the natural tongue socket where it belongs, and I should give myself cues so that I put it back where it belongs. I would guess it has to do with programming and sitting around with my tongue against the back of my teeth...and being lazy. So...how do I fix it? She told me I had to do tongue exercises. Train my tongue to stay in the place it belongs. Ah, back on (double) intendred ground. My teeth are clean, but I feel so very, very dirty.


Anonymous said...

I think you need to keep gargling Listerine (the old, medicine-y kind, not the nice, minty fresh kind) to wash away the dirtiness. It would be kind of like a modern-day oral hairshirt, if you will.

When the dentist said you had to do tongue exercises, she didn't reference it in terms of doing the alphabet, did she? If so, I would have been really concerned as to her intentions.

Actually, I could easily see what you're describing as the prefect basis for some sort of compulsion; "Where is my tongue at in my mouth? ", "Must keep tongue in natural tongue socket.", using a timer to remind you to put your tongue back where it belongs on a regular basis, etc. Something to roll about in your mind over and over as you're falling asleep tonight. The fact that you noticed an almost imperceptable shift in your teeth in the first place would seem to indicate that you're already on the right track - for a compulsion, that is ;)

LissyJo said...

The tongue thrust can create big problems with breastfeeding as well. I am constantly assisting neonates in training their tongue so that when they breastfeed, they stop thrusting it.

Mostly it involves training their tongues by putting my gloved-doned finger into their mouth and pressing the tongue down and yelling, "BAD tongue."

Anonymous said...

I think your sister may be onto something - you must be having some sort of latent breastfeeding tongue thrusting issue.

Maybe you should stick your finger in your mouth and press your tongue down while yelling (maybe just thinking, as it would be physically more practical) "BAD TONGUE!"