Tongue placement post-op?

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alwaysabc
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 2:01 pm

Tongue placement post-op?

#1 Post by alwaysabc »

Something I wasn't expecting post-op; now my bite is fixed, it initally felt like my tongue was too big for my mouth. Obviously the difference is it has less space than before.

I discussed with my ortho and am now trying to retrain my tongue so it doesn't thrust and push against my newly aligned teeth. Over time it feels more natural but I still have to consciously think about where my tongue is at rest, during speech and eating.

Has anyone else experienced similar or successfully retrained their tongue to avoid relapse/tongue thrust issues? Thanks.

snapdresser
Posts: 913
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:31 am

Re: Tongue placement post-op?

#2 Post by snapdresser »

I had to retrain my tongue post-op. Not to prevent tongue-thrusting, but simply because I was now keeping my mouth closed all the time and needed to figure out where to put it. I read somewhere on here that the proper placement is at the roof of your mouth, as though you're pronouncing the end of the "N" sound. I've been doing it that way ever since, and it seems to work great.
No braces
1-piece LeFort I + BSSO + Sliding Genio on 10 JUNE 2015!
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alwaysabc
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 2:01 pm

Re: Tongue placement post-op?

#3 Post by alwaysabc »

Thanks snapdresser

That's what my ortho told me too, ideally the roof of the mouth just behind the teeth (in the palate?) or next best at the bottom of the mouth also behind the teeth. And that's where it is now 90% of the time but I have to really concentrate! Do you remember how long it was before it felt second nature?

snapdresser
Posts: 913
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:31 am

Re: Tongue placement post-op?

#4 Post by snapdresser »

Yep, I had to constantly remind myself of my tongue placement but over time it became the natural position :D I think it took a few months after I got my archbars off, IIRC.
No braces
1-piece LeFort I + BSSO + Sliding Genio on 10 JUNE 2015!
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EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Tongue placement post-op?

#5 Post by EmilyTravels »

I started tongue thrusting after having my jaw wired due to jaw fracture and then later getting braces. This caused a slight open bite that I had never had before. The ortho. tech. gave me exercises to do in front of the mirror. Really simple, they involved putting my tongue back farther on the roof of my mouth and swallowing 10 times in front of a mirror to make sure I wasn't thrusting. I did this several times a day for awhile. I also focused on moving my tongue back off my teeth anytime I thought about it, even in bed at night, when I'd wake up. Over the period of 1-2 months I seemed to break myself of this habit.

This diligent focus (which is annoying but necessary for awhile), along with elastics, closed up my bite. Over time, you'll find that you don't have to think about your tongue nearly as often; it really can be retrained.

alwaysabc
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 2:01 pm

Re: Tongue placement post-op?

#6 Post by alwaysabc »

Thanks Emily, I guess I'm trying to retrain a large muscle that has had years of sitting in a certain way and it takes time. I feel like I produce more saliva with my tongue in the roof of my mouth, but again maybe I'm just more aware of it.

My surgeon warned me tongue thrust can cause regression and that's the last thing I want!

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Tongue placement post-op?

#7 Post by EmilyTravels »

Exactly! After you go through surgery and braces, you do not want your tongue to mess things up.

There is an appliance called a "tongue tamer" that I've read about on this board. My understanding is that it is on the floor of your mouth or behind your front teeth and has prongs so you can't rest your tongue in that position. I guess if you can't break the habit on your own you might want to discuss this with your ortho.

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