How do I know if my child has a tongue thrust swallow?

One or more of the following signs may indicate your child has a tongue thrust:

  1. Tongue comes between the teeth when producing the /s, z, t, d, n, l, sh/ sounds.

  2. The mouth is open when at rest and/or the tongue is resting in the bottom of the mouth

  3. You see the tongue move forward when swallowing

  4. You see the tongue outside the mouth of a cup or straw

  5. Lips are tense when swallowing

  6. Lips are often crack, chapped, and/or are often licked

  7. Frequent mouth breathing in the absence of allergies or nasal congestion

  8. Prolonged sucking of thumb or pacifier

  9. Prolonged sippy cup use

  10. Chewing on clothes or objects

Orofacial features of tongue thrust include:

  1. High narrow palate (roof of the mouth)

  2. Open-bite or over bite

What is a tongue thrust?

Tongue thrust is also known as a "reverse" swallow or "immature" swallow. It is normal for an infant or young baby to use this swallowing pattern, but as they begin to start eating solid foods the tongue thrust should slowly "disappear" and they develop the mature swallow pattern.


What this video to see what a tongue thrust swallow looks like:


*Video courtesy of Sarah Hornsby



Contact Speech Language Voice & Swallowing to start the evaluation process today!


  • Facebook

phone (832) 378-8165

fax (855) 955-3903

Houston, TX
Harris County 77018
USA