Are you the best clinician you can be? Do you avoid treating tongue thrust because you haven’t had good results? Do you want to have confidence in treating tongue thrust? Whether you are a dental professional or a speech language pathologist you have probably realized frustration with tongue thrust because it is different than the typical populations you receive training on. For SLPs we get a great deal of education on delays and disorders, articulation and language, but not typically developing kids or adults without articulation differences. For dental professionals they get a great deal of education on the structures of the jaw and teeth, but not the tongue. Tongue thrust is just enough different from our typical caseloads that many clinicians minimize it or ignore it not understanding the potential impact. Others may attempt to treat it but quickly feel frustrated because of poor progress and motivation which ultimately results in poor outcomes (or inconsistent outcomes at best). Some just don’t recognize tongue thrust or understand how it contributes to the other areas they may be treating (articulation or orthodontics).
How would you feel if you were able to offer tongue thrust services that really make a difference? Do you ever wonder if you’re making a difference for your client that has been on caseload for months with minimal progress that really isn’t making a lot of impact on their function? What if you could SEE the progress? What if your client could SEE the progress? Would that be motivating? Tongue thrust is not subjective, qualitative, conceptual areas that we are so used to addressing in speech therapy, nor is it the static structure fill it or pull it we are so used to addressing as dental professionals. When they don’t fit the mold, frustration for both the clinician and client can set in.
How would you feel if you were able to not just treat a problem but completely eliminate it? Much of what we do professionally is treating the symptom rather than the cause. We teach new placement and practice for articulation disorders, we provide opportunities and environments to facilitate language development to catch up delays, we teach compensatory strategies to improve independence and communication but how often do we eliminate the cause? Very rarely! Tongue Thrust is a disorder that can be completely eliminated if treated properly. If you eliminate the tongue thrust you eliminate the other symptoms that it may produce such as dental malocclusions, dysphagia, TMJ, and misarticulations that are resistant to traditional therapy.
How long does it take to eliminate tongue thrust? We measure our tongue thrust program in numbers of sessions rather than months or years because clinical data showed a trend. In an average of 10 sessions over an average period of 3 months the tongue thrust is permanently eliminated. These results have been replicated repeatedly over more than 10 years. This is one of the hardest adjustments for clinicians to make if they are used to working with articulation or braces which are usually programs of 2-3 years.
Why not eliminate your frustration and increase your clinical skill set with tongue thrust? Why not grow your clinical expertise with an under-served niche population? Why not have raving clients who are thrilled to SEE the results and eliminate future complicating factors? You may just find out how rewarding it is to see real results in a very short time that takes your clinical expertise and practice to the next level of specialty!
If you are a clinician who is frustrated with tongue thrust or maybe just curious, you can find out more about our protocol and online training program at StoneTongueThrustProtocol.com. We are on a mission to change the face of tongue thrust and we’d love to have you join our mission and eliminate your frustration!