The Half-Slack Jaw: Part Sixteen

February 21, 2012




ith the new retainer came a heightened awareness of my mouth.  I began to notice my swallow was off.  My tongue was getting lazy.  I struggled to remember everything I had learned in speech therapy.  “To swallow properly you must press the tip of your tongue against the ridges located on the roof of you mouth,” I could hear my speech therapist say.  I tried but something tells me that one inch bar bell may have been gumming up the works.

I began to notice that at night I was sleeping with my mouth open.  Not this again.  I would awake mid-slumber and violently shut my mouth.  It occurred to me that though I remembered how my tongue should behave during a swallow and how to speak without pushing on my teeth, I couldn’t for the life of me remember where my tongue should be when I wasn’t talking or swallowing.  “Where’s your tongue right now?”  I would fire this question at my friends in the midst of conversation so as to catch their tongues off guard.  No one could tell me.  It seems the moment you say “your tongue” your tongue springs to attention abandoning its point of rest.

I decided, based on what I could recall about swallowing, that the tongue should rest on the roof of the mouth.  During the night instead of just slamming my mouth shut I would also thrust my tongue to the roof of my mouth with all my might.  I felt rather accomplished, taking these matters into my own hands.  I became thoroughly convinced that since I had been the one to shift my teeth out of place surely I could also shift them back.

To be continued…

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