Ask a Dentist

Q: Why does my baby keep poking out her tongue?

baby in over-sized glasses sticking its tongue out

A: When babies are ready to drink from a bottle or breastfeed, they naturally stick out their tongues. Dental issues may be developing if your baby keeps sticking out their tongue after feeding. Allergies, swelling tonsils or adenoids may constrict your baby’s throat and cause them to stick out their tongue.

Tongue thrust should go away when your baby is between 4 to 6 months old. There’s usually no need to seek immediate attention from your child’s dentist before then. After 6 months old, tongue thrust may start affecting your baby’s teeth alignment or speech, potentially leading to a lisp.

Visit your dentist if your baby's tongue thrust symptoms persist: strange tongue resting behaviour, prolonged sucking, open mouth resting, chewing issues, mouth breathing, chapped lips or oral sores. Concern for your baby is normal. Of course, you want to make sure you take care of any risk of pain for your baby. Whenever you’re feeling unsure, it’s good to contact your dentist directly for more information.