This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
Q: I have a student with a frontal lisp and an anterior open bite. Can you suggest compensatory strategies to help him?
If he is going to get his teeth fixed I might wait to do anything until after he teeth are fixed.
If he is not going to get his teeth fixed, then the compensation simply involves getting him to produce the best sibilants he can given his dental structure.
He needs to stabilize the tongue at the back-lateral margins. This will draw the tongue in behind the front teeth.
Then you have to experiment with where to place the tongue-tip to obtain the best sound you can. Most therapists tell me that the best sounds that can be obtained with an anterior open bite are one of two––
- Position the tongue-tip so that it points toward (but does not touch) the upper central incisors.
- Position the tongue-tip down so that it anchors against the lower central incisors and arches upward to create a narrow groove between the body of the tongue and the upper front teeth.