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Everyone has knows the benefits of good body posture, but not too many people know about tongue posture. Proper tongue posture is very important to oral development and even one’s face shape.

Good tongue posture helps correct oral development

The principles of tongue posture were first identified by English oral researchers in 1966 and is called Orthotropic treatment. This treatment is a tongue muscle technique to correct oral and facial developmental issues in children and adults through proper tongue posture.

This is possible in adults because the skull sutures that surround the maxilla, the upper jaw bone, don’t actually fuse together until you are in your late 60s or early 70s. This flexibility means that both upper and lower jaws can be moved forward or back simply by maintaining correct tongue posture.

The tongue also happens to be a large muscle that can exert quite a lot of pressure on the maxilla. This helps widen the dental arch which allows teeth more space to develop and maintain proper alignment.

How do you achieve good tongue posture?

To achieve good tongue posture, simply press and rest your tongue on the maxilla or roof of your mouth with your mouth closed, while breathing through your nose, for up to 8 hours a day. The tip of your tongue should be about a centimetre above your front teeth without touching the back of them.

If you were breast fed as an infant, then you would have pushed your mother’s nipple up against the roof of your mouth. So in a sense, a mother’s breast first trains an infant’s tongue to have good posture from Day 1.

Avoid having incorrect tongue posture

The tongue positions that should be avoided are resting it on the bottom of your mouth, tongue thrust and/or pressing against the back of your front teeth.

The benefits of good tongue posture

Maintaining the right tongue posture has a number of oral health benefits:

  • improves oral development
  • maintains straighter teeth alignment
  • prevents teeth grinding
  • prevents your tongue flopping backwards
  • prevents snoring and sleep apnoea
  • prevents mouth breathing
  • improves support for your cheekbones and jaw so that they remain prominent with age