Hello, I have another question! I was wondering if you think (or if there is a consensus) that a tongue thrusting pattern is “normal”/typical swallowing pattern up to a certain age. I have read that it is normal for babies. I have also read that it is “normal” until the age of 6. I have also read that it is never normal, and even infants that are breastfeeding do not exhibit a forward tongue motion. I feel a little confused. I have an evaluation of a 4 year old who just had a frenectomy. If I see a thrust when he drinks, how do I determine if that is normal for his age. It seems like when I look at babies and young kids (maybe the age of 2, 3, 4, or even 5, they do seem to thrust when eating/drinking). Ahhh….please help clarify! Thanks so much!!!
Hi N, Most babies have a “tongue thrust” pattern during infancy. If you want more detailed info about this, Dr. Mason can provide it. We will get his response in another blog for you and others. I have the info, but am inundated with so many studies with which I am trying to stay current, that it would take me too long to locate the specifics. The young man you are seeing is 4 years old and has just had a frenectomy. Your goal is to maximize his lingual shaping skills and excursions. Any “thrusting” tendency you see with this fellow should be considered undesirable considering his history. Go ahead and give him a modified program of treatment based on the weaknesses you find in a thorough examination, keeping his age in mind (not related to “thrusting” but rather overall expectations for a 4 year old boy). I hope this helps.