The first step to mewing is putting your tongue up against your palate. But how far back should it be in your mouth?
In this article, we look into how far back your tongue should rest, the importance of proper tongue positioning, and how to correct bad tongue habits. Let’s dive in.
You should rest your tongue as far back as possible without discomfort. This will allow you to target the entire palate, which will slowly change the face. Only prioritizing a specific part of your palate will lead to little results.
The Importance of Proper Tongue Positioning
What is Tongue Positioning?
Tongue positioning, also known as tongue posture, refers to the resting position of our tongues when we’re not actively using them for speaking, eating, or swallowing.
While it may seem trivial, proper tongue positioning plays a crucial role in maintaining good oral health and preventing various health problems.
Why Does Tongue Positioning Matter?
The tongue is a powerful muscle that influences several areas of our body, including our mouth, eyes, nose, head, neck, and shoulders. As a result, improper tongue positioning can lead to a myriad of issues, such as:
- Sleep apnea
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
- Vision problems
- Poor body posture
- Tooth damage
Proper Tongue Positioning: Where Should Your Tongue Rest?
The Ideal Resting Position
The correct position for your tongue is with the entire tongue, including the tip, middle, and posterior sections, resting on the palate (roof of the mouth).
Your lips should be closed, and you should breathe through your nose 95-100% of the time.
Your tongue should also not touch the front teeth; instead, rest behind them.
This position promotes healthy oral and overall health by ensuring that your tongue is not putting undue pressure on your teeth or jaw.
Your tongue should be far back enough to sit comfortably across your entire tongue, but it shouldn’t go back far enough to where you feel like gagging or discomfort.
The Role of Myofunctional Therapy
Myofunctional therapy focuses on exercises to improve tongue positioning and muscle balance, promoting proper swallowing, breathing, speaking, sleep, feeding, and posture.
This therapy has been around since 1918 and has proven effective in addressing the issues caused by poor tongue positioning and tongue tie (restricted tongue mobility).
Identifying Bad Tongue Positioning
Signs of Improper Tongue Resting Position
If you notice that your tongue tends to rest on the bottom of your mouth or against your teeth, you likely have improper tongue positioning. This bad habit can lead to numerous problems, including:
- Shifting or crowding of teeth
- Tooth grinding and decay
- Increased neck pain
- Jaw pain
- Changes in facial appearance
Assessing the Impact on Your Health
If you suspect that your tongue positioning may be affecting your oral and overall health, it’s essential to consult with a dental professional or a myofunctional therapist.
They can help evaluate your tongue posture and recommend appropriate treatment to correct any issues.
How to Correct Bad Tongue Positioning
Becoming Aware of Your Tongue Position
The first step in improving your tongue positioning is to become more conscious of where your tongue falls at rest.
If you find it resting on the bottom of your mouth or pressing against your teeth, deliberately reposition it on your palate.
Practicing Exercises for Better Tongue Positioning
Myofunctional therapy provides a range of targeted exercises to help you transition from dysfunctional tongue habits to functional, healthy ones.
By consistently practicing these exercises, you can train your tongue to rest at the correct position on your palate.
Seeking Professional Help
If you struggle to improve your tongue positioning, consider working with a myofunctional therapist or a dental professional.
They can provide personalized guidance and support to help you achieve and maintain proper tongue posture.
How A Tongue-Tie Affects Tongue Posture
What is Tongue-Tie?
Tongue-tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is a condition in which the lingual frenulum (the tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth) is too short or tight, restricting the tongue’s mobility.
This restriction can make maintaining correct tongue posture very difficult or impossible.
The good news is that most people with tongue ties won’t have much trouble with tongue posture. Only severe tongue ties will restrict you from putting your tongue onto your palate.
Before considering a tongue-tie release (frenectomy) for older children or adults, working with a myofunctional therapist and performing exercises to improve tongue positioning and mobility is essential.
Unfortunately, the only way to altogether remove tongue ties is through surgery. However, you can do exercises that will lessen the effects.
Combining therapy with a tongue-tie release often yields better results than just the surgical procedure alone.
Maintaining Good Oral Health with Proper Tongue Positioning
Preventing Tooth Damage and Decay
Keeping your tongue in the correct resting position protects your teeth from shifting, crowding, grinding, and decay caused by constant pressure from an improperly positioned tongue.
Reducing Pain and Discomfort
Proper tongue positioning can also help alleviate neck and jaw pain and decrease the frequency or intensity of headaches associated with bad tongue posture.
Promoting Better Sleep and Breathing
When your tongue rests on your palate, it can help improve your sleep and breathing by preventing airway obstruction and reducing the risk of sleep apnea and other sleep-related issues.
In conclusion, proper tongue positioning is essential for maintaining good oral and overall health. By ensuring that your tongue rests on your palate, you can prevent various health issues and enjoy better sleep, breathing, and posture.
If you have concerns about your tongue positioning or tie, don’t hesitate to consult a dental professional or myofunctional therapist for guidance and treatment. Remember, it’s never too late to improve your tongue posture and reap the benefits of better oral health and overall well-being.