Myofunctional therapy is a specialized program that incorporates exercises, awareness, and healthy habit techniques for your mouth, tongue, throat, and face. Practicing what your myofunctional therapist teaches you will help with muscle weaknesses,improper functions and habits of the mouth, the tongue, the throat, and the face. Anything getting in the way of proper functions in these areas are called a myofunctional impairment. A myofunctioanl impairment can be a physical barrier like a tongue-tie, or a bad habit such as mouth breathing. A Myofunctional therapist will guide you through these techniques, exercises, and education to improve your daily life and overall health.
One very clear path to better health is better sleep. Sleep issues are quite prevalent in adults and now research is showing that it is affecting children more then ever thought before. A connection between attention issues, bed-wetting, and some behavioral issues, have been found in children with disturbed sleep. Disturbed sleep is often linked to airway issues. A Myofunctional therapist works with a team of specialists to help you take the first step to discovering and recovering from sleep and airway issues.
Dental professionals are the first line of defense to detect airway issues. We are educated in the muscles and structures of the head, neck, face, and mouth. The back of your mouth is the front of your airway and can provide significant clues to airway health. We bridge the gap between oral and body health.
There are 22 bones in the skull. The mandible and maxilla, also known as your upper and lower jaw, are two of the most important ones. They form the face, the structures of the airway, and are the base for muscles needed for swallowing and chewing. Myofunctional Therapy helps with proper growth and functions of the mouth and airway. This is achieved when those muscles are strengthened and taught to perform in a proper healthy manner. Early intervention for children is especially important due to fact that they are still growing so full potential of facial development can be achieved more readily. A Myofunctional therapist and other dental professionals are in a unique position to see and educate you on what physical or functional barriers you may have and how they can affect your growth and health.
Mouth breathing (video on mouth breathing)
Eating/ drinking problems-aversion to textures or a strong gag reflex
Grinding or clenching teeth while sleeping
Facial growth alterations
Sleep disordered breathing like sleep apnea, sleep arousals or, snoring (information on sleep apnea and snoring)
TMJ & Neck pain
Tongue- Ties (information on tongue- ties)
Enlarged Tonsils or adenoids
History of Tonsillectomy, Nasal turbine reductions, or frenectomy
Thumb or finger sucking, pacifiers, extended bottle usage, or other toxic habits
Attention troubles or ADHD
Bed-wetting past potty training
Do you any of the “red flags” listed? We have an at home assessment you can take to determine if you may have any myofunctional impairments.
Your Myofunctional Therapist will give you a comprehensive myofunctional exam to determine if you have any myofunctional impairments, which takes about 60-90 minutes.
Tips for a successful and pleasant experience for your child:
Schedule on a day that you or your child is feeling relaxed - maybe a day off school or with less activities scheduled.
Try to get a good nights sleep - feeling as well rested as possible can help with focus
Have a snack - avoid distractions
Be prepared to participate in your child’s appointment
Plan to leave other siblings at home to help with participation
A very detailed questionnaire and severity assessment from infancy to current day.
Measurements of your mouth are taken
Pictures of you mouth, teeth, and face
Functional and physical assessments of your mouth and how the corresponding muscles work
Discussion: You and your therapist will determine if Myofunctional therapy is the best next step and how it can help you.
You will receive a therapy kit, tracking sheets, and supplies. Your program and specific goals will be discussed. You need to bring your required supplies to every visit. You may meet with your therapist every week at first, then every two weeks, and then every month as you progress.
Most therapy programs are 8-12 sessions but sometimes more are required. The length of time it takes will be dependent on if you are following your program and how severe your impairments are. Your therapist will guide you and revise your program as needed. If you are not progressing due to not completing your prescribed treatment causing therapy to go over the original treatment program, additional fees may apply.