Correct tongue posture involves placing and resting the tongue in the mouth. And as it turns out, tongue position may be more important than you think.
The ideal position for your tongue is to press against the roof of your mouth, rather than letting it “nest” in the bottom of your mouth. You also don’t want your tongue to press against the back of your teeth as this can cause problems with the alignment of your teeth over time.
Why correct tongue position is important?
While the position of your tongue may seem inappropriate for your overall health and well-being, there are several benefits to learning the correct position to rest your tongue.
“One potential benefit of good tongue posture is the opportunity to have aligned teeth, because poor tongue posture can put your tongue in the way of growing your teeth,” Baise says. “This can negatively affect the way they grow by blocking the space in which they grow.”
In addition, the wrong tongue position can cause the palate to narrow over time. Studies show that simple palate augmentation can have a positive effect on the upper airway, especially in children and young adults, improving tongue posture, and even reducing nasal obstruction in children with sleep apnea.
Can tongue posture affect the facial expression?
While the position of the tongue can affect your cheekbones and facial structure, it seems more like protection.
How does it work? Baise explains that a tightening of the roof of the mouth due to incorrect tongue position can reduce support for your jaw and cheekbones. As a result, your chin and cheekbones may become less prominent over time.
There are no significant studies on whether correct tongue position can produce the opposite effect – enlargement of the palate or changes in facial structure in adulthood.
Some people may promote mewing, which is the practice of maintaining a proper tongue position to create a wider palate. There is no research to support this practice.
Tongue posture exercise
If you want to improve your tongue exercise, you can easily start practicing it at home. Throughout the day, try to be more aware of where your tongue is and practice proper tongue positioning.
Here are simple exercises to learn correct posture:
- Place the tip of your tongue on your hard palate, on the roof of your mouth just above your top teeth.
- Using the suction, pull the rest of your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth.
- Keep your mouth close.
- Hold it there; breathe normally (if possible).
Proper tongue posture helps maintain a wider palate. There is little to no research showing that adults can use proper tongue positions to expand their palate or change the structure of their faces. However, that doesn’t mean it’s useless.
As a precaution, proper tongue posture can help you avoid a variety of health problems, including misaligned teeth, poor breathing habits, and a protruding tongue.
If you are concerned about the position of your tongue, teeth, or breathing, talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have.