The Root and Suck Reflex is the baby's breastfeeding reflex, allowing it to latch on and feed. The root response is triggered when the baby's cheek or edge of the mouth is touched. The baby turns the head towards the stimulus, opens the mouth and protrudes the tongue. The suck reflex then initiates and the baby feeds. The reflex usually integrates around the age of 4 months.  If a baby struggled to breastfeed then this reflex may be retained and can cause struggles associated with eating and speech.  A child with a retained Root and Suck Reflex will often chew on plastic such as pens.

Signs of retention

Tongue lies too far forward
Sensitivity around the mouth
Sensitivity with textures and solid foods
Thumb sucking
Speech and articulation problems
Difficulty swallowing and chewing
Hormone imbalance
Thyroid problems and autoimmune tendency
Dexterity problems when talking


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