Babies often press their tongues against their front teeth as they learn to control their tongues. This is considered to be tongue thrusting and usually subsides as the child gets older. However, some children continue to push their tongues against their front teeth. The continuous force that is being applied by their tongue will eventually cause their front teeth to jut out. When this happens, your child's orthodontist will install a tongue thrusting appliance in order to bring your child's teeth back into alignment. The success of a tongue thrusting appliance relies on good maintenance. Poor maintenance can compromise the device. Fortunately, there are a few tips that you can use to help your child take care of their appliance.

Instruct Them to Use an Antibacterial Rinse After Their Meals

A tongue thrusting appliance is composed of wires that fit along the teeth in your child's mouth. These wires are designed to fit snugly against your child's teeth; therefore, they can attract bacteria and plaque buildup. Plaque that is left untouched will eventually harden into tartar and can lead to serious dental infections in the future. In order to prevent this, it is important to teach your child to use an antibacterial rinse after their meals. The rinse will be able to reach the small crevices around the appliance and kill off harmful bacteria. A commercial antibacterial rinse can be purchased from the store and should be used after brushing.

Give Your Child a Water floss Device

Many tongue thrusting appliances are removable. This makes it easy for your child to access their teeth in order to floss. However, your child may end up getting a tongue thrusting device that is fixed. This makes it difficult to access your child's teeth if you want to use traditional floss. Instead, consider giving your child a water floss to use. The water floss will allow your child to clean between their teeth without any issues. The floss works well because it directs pressurized water into the small gaps and holes around their teeth. This will help to keep areas free of bacteria and plaque buildup. A water floss should be used immediately following a meal in order to remove any leftover food debris.

A tongue thrusting appliance that is poorly maintained can cause more harm to the health of your child's teeth. Therefore, use these tips to help keep your child's tongue thrusting appliance in working condition. To find out more, speak with someone like C. James Goodwin, DDS, PLLC.