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The Art of Treating the Whole Child.

Myofunctional Therapy

What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) is similar to physical therapy but for the face and mouth – specifically the tongue, cheeks, and lips. We teach a series of customized exercises over a period of time to help promote proper tongue and lip posture, nasal breathing, and a correct swallowing pattern. All of these functions can have a direct effect on the airway and on individual & overall health. ​It is a known fact that form follows function. With the presence of orofacial dysfunction, there is a direct effect on jaw development, teeth alignment, and palate shape which can have a significant impact on the way we breathe. Not only do we see changes to the internal structures, but dysfunction could also result in changes to the external, physical appearance of an individual.

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are characterized by the dysfunction of the facial and oral muscles. OMDs may directly and/or indirectly affect facial skeletal growth and development, chewing, swallowing, speech, occlusion, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) movement, oral hygiene, stability of orthodontic treatment, facial esthetics, and more.

Symptoms of OMDs Include:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Low tongue posture
  • Speech difficulties
  • Drooling
  • Dental crowding
  • Malocclusion (ex: underbite, overbite, crossbite, or open bite)
  • Tongue thrust swallowing pattern
  • Poor sleep
  • Facial asymmetry
  • Thumb or finger sucking
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
  • Increase in dental cavities

Myofunctional Therapy Goals:

  • Establish proper tongue posture
  • Restore nasal breathing
  • Establish healthy chewing and swallowing patterns
  • Establish a complete lip seal
  • Eliminate noxious habits, such as thumb sucking or nail biting

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Hours

Monday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Tuesday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Wednesday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Thursday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Friday By Appointment

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Myomunchee

Small Device, Big Impact
In the last hundred years, the western industrialized lifestyle—with its soft foods, reduced nutritional diversity, and rapidly decreasing range of exercise— has essentially removed natural cues for healthy oral development. Chewing, swallowing and movement has been outsourced. Just like any part of the body, the jaw and facial muscles need the right kind of exercise to stay healthy.
The Myomunchee is a chewing device that is designed to help encourage nasal breathing, proper lip seal, tongue posture, and swallowing patterns. This is accomplished by training the tongue to stay on the roof of the mouth. Proper tongue position is necessary for healthy dental arches, sinus function, and unobstructed airways. This device may be incorporated into a patient’s orofacial myofunctional therapy program.
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In addition to helping strengthen and tone the oral and facial muscles, benefits of the Myomunchee include:
  • Teeth and gum health – Pronged design functions like a brush: cleaning, oxygenating and producing saliva
  • Jaw health and development – Chewing enhances the strength of jaw and mouth muscles to assist in optimal oral health
  • Lip and tongue strength – Improves chewing and swallowing patterns triggering natural chewing motions and increasing lip, tongue and facial strength
  • Promotes nasal breathing – Strengthening muscles helps with lip seal to assist with the benefits of nasal breathing and breathing retraining programs
Myofunctional Therapy & Tongue Tie Release
baby tongue tie
We know through research and clinical experience that including myofunctional therapy both before and after the tongue tie release is vital to the overall success of the procedure. Some benefits include:
  • Greatly reduces the risk of reattachment
  • Helps to strengthen and prepare the muscles of the tongue for the new range of motion they will experience post-operatively
  • Reduces risk of complications both during the procedure as well as post-operatively