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Children's Speech and the Dentist

Children's Bad Dental Habits can damage their speech

Parents should always listen closely to their kids - not just to what they say, but how they say it. That's important to all of us because as vocal patterns develop, early childhood speech problems can emerge rapidly. Dentists are often the first health care professionals to hear about a speech problem because parents generally associate speech with the oral cavity.

Lisping is the most common speech impediment and is relatively easy to correct. This inability to produce the S,Z,SH and J sounds can be caused by the tongue, rather than the front teeth, cutting off an S sound. Prolonged thumb sucking or finger sucking can create an open bite resulting in a lisp.

Long-term thumb sucking might also leave large gaps between teeth and can be the basis for the condition called tongue thrusting. This is actually reverse swallowing and will eventually lead to improper tooth alignment, possibly affecting speech. Lisping can also be the result of a narrow palate which does not allow enough room for the tongue to pronounce some sounds.

Cleft palate, a condition present at birth, also dramatically affects a child's speech and usually requires oral surgery. In some cases we provide a plastic plate to cover the opening in the roof of the mouth, allowing the patient to develop normal speech patterns.

Your Tuxedo Dental dentist will often work with a team that includes a speech pathologist, orthodontist and an oral surgeon to detect, treat and correct speech problems. Bringing your children in to visit our Winnipeg Dentists for regular dental checkups is your primary defence against ongoing speech impediments.

If you need a dentist in Winnipeg that is an expert in Children's dentistry, contact the Tuxedo Dental Group.

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a parents guide to dental emergencies
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kids care about their smiles