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Assess Your Facial Resting Posture and Swallow

Facial Rest PostureAs you are reading this, ask yourself:

  • Where is my tongue? Is it low and forward against the teeth? 
    Is it up in the palate?
  • Are my lips closed?
  • Am I breathing through my nose?
  • Am I clenching my teeth?
  • Am I sucking on my thumb, fingers, lip or other objects?

During a normal dental rest position or posture, the tongue is positioned up in the palate, not between or against the teeth. The lips are gently closed and the breathing is through the nose. There is a small open space about 2-3 mm between the upper and lower back teeth known as the dental freeway space. This position promotes a healthy environment for growth and development of the facial muscles and bones.

Now try swallowing:

  • Did your tongue push forward against your teeth?
  • Was your tongue up in your palate?
  • Did you need to close your lips tightly?  Were your lips pursed or did you make a facial grimace?
  • Were you biting on your back teeth?

During a normal swallow, the tongue pushes against the roof of the mouth (palate) with the tip behind the upper front teeth – not between or touching the teeth. The back teeth are generally closed or biting and the lips should be together. During an abnormal swallowing pattern, the tongue pushes forward and/or sideways against or between the teeth. This is known as a Tongue Thrust Swallow.

How did you do?



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