Have you ever found yourself laying in bed, trying to get comfortable, and you randomly think, “where am I supposed to rest my tongue?” Surprisingly, this is a very real and very common thought many people have but may not share. If you’re one of those people, you’re in luck because your dentist in Madison has the answer.
Tongue Posture / Tongue Positioning
Whether or not you’ve ever thought about where your tongue was supposed to rest in your mouth, it is a thing that your dentist may talk to you about. You may have heard this described as tongue posture or tongue positioning, both of which refer to how and where you rest your tongue naturally while at rest. Why does this matter? We’re glad you asked.
Why Is Proper Tongue Posture Important?
Tongue posture may sound a little silly, but the truth is, positioning your tongue properly can help protect your overall health. The tongue is a strong muscle and can affect not only your teeth, but your sinuses, eyes, nose, head, neck, and shoulders. Those who don’t have proper tongue placement can suffer from:
How to Rest Your Tongue
There’s actually a right way and a wrong way to rest your tongue, and an estimated 50% of the population do it incorrectly.
The Wrong Way – A common, yet wrong, way to hold your tongue in your mouth is to rest it on the bottom teeth or the at the bottom of the mouth. This can cause the tongue to put constant pressure on the teeth and make them shift, become crowded, or create a bad, sometimes painful, bite.
The Right Way – Your dentist in Madison will recommend that you gently rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth and about a half an inch away from the back of your front teeth. At the same time, your lips should be closed, and your teeth held slightly apart to avoid placing unnecessary pressure on your teeth. Practicing proper tongue posture over time, and especially while we’re growing, can help expand the palate, leaving enough room for your teeth to develop properly without crowding.
Benefits of Proper Posture
We’ve already talked about how properly resting your tongue on the roof of your mouth can help teeth develop properly without overlapping, but there are other benefits to having good tongue posture, including:
Proper tongue posture can help people have a better overall posture and a natural appearance. Those who tend to rest tongues on the bottom of the mouth can accidentally create a longer, flatter face shape and a chin or forehead that juts forward. Go ahead, try it out. First, rest your tongue properly on the roof of your mouth then move the whole thing to the bottom of the mouth. You should feel a pretty obvious shift in your chin, neck, and head.
If you think you may have bad tongue posture or you have questions about whether you hold your tongue properly or not, your dentist in Madison can help. Schedule an appointment today.