23 August 2020

Fussy Eating


Are you getting fed up with how fussy your child is at eating?  Is breastfeeding getting really painful, or it never really worked?
Is your child not wanting to chew, or only wants easy soft foods to eat? Won’t have carrots or chewy meat?  Is every meal time frustrating?
There might be more to it than just a ‘phase’

Tongue ties can prevent babies from latching properly for breastfeeding, making it hard for them to feed and painful for the mother.  Tongue ties in babies can be diagnosed, however not all tongue ties prove to cause breastfeeding difficulty and hence get missed.
A tongue tie is essentially when the tissue that attaches under the tongue is too short and tight and restricting tongue movement properly (making it harder to swallow or chew food)

Signs to look for:

  • The tongue doesn’t poke out past the lips
  •  The tip of the tongue cant touch the roof of the mouth or move sideways
  •  Babies having difficulty feeding
  •  A large gap between the front teeth in the lower jaw
  •  The tip of the tongue being notched, or flat (instead of pointy)

I    If you have an infant/baby and you suspect might have a tongue tie please contact your Nurse/GP or pediatrician/Lactation specialist

Tongue ties in older children can often also give speech problems (since the tongue cant move around as freely and certain sounds are difficult to say such as (t, d, n, l, s, z)
If a tongue tie needs to be released at this age, tongue exercises will still need to be done to train the tongue .

The tongue being in the right position plays an important role in proper dental arch development, as the force and shape of the tongue helps with expansion and growth.
If the tongue is constant sitting in  the floor of the mouth and the lips are open then w e often find that the upper arch is narrow and the front teeth stick out more (also the case for long term thumb/finger sucking and prolonged pacifier use).

Fussy eating for older children
In addition to a tongue tie, the fussy eating, especially with chewing harder foods or meat could be due to the chewing muscles are not strong enough and fatigue quickly when they have to chew more.  Often kids just avoid those foods or complain its hurting when they eat. 
If the jaws are not aligned properly ,it can make it difficult to chew and therefore the muscles don’t develop properly (ie: if you don’t use  your legs for a while, it takes a bit more effort and sometimes it’s a bit sore to walk for a long time)
A well balanced diet from early on is important, with different textures to help develop the chewing muscles.  Raw carrots, celery, cucumber or nuts are great snacks as well as meat that needs to be chewed for a bit longer. 
Being able to breathe through your nose day and night is also important for the jaw alignment, and there fore the muscles.

Often parents tell us their kids are fussy eaters and we can see the teeth are crowded, or there is a jaw alignment problem.

If you want us to assess your childs teeth and jaws then call us on 94596300 for a consultation.


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