What Is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy is an exercise-based treatment modality. It’s just like doing physical therapy, only for symptoms and conditions related to the face, mouth and jaws. If your tongue rests low in your mouth, or if you’re breathing through your mouth, then this is a strong sign that you need myofunctional therapy.
The Four Goals
Breathing through the nose is the was we are meant to breathe, It filters and warms air, adds moisture and releases nitric oxide into the body.
if your tongue pushes forward when you swallow you have a tongue thrust swallowing pattern. this makes you more likely to swallow small amounts of air when you eat or drink and you may have digestive issues such as acid reflux, GERD, stomach pain, gas and bloating.
Proper Lip Seal
Our lips should rest naturally togather. when the moth. is closed you sleep better and have lower risk for gum disease and tooth decay.
The tongue os meant to fill up the roof of the moth. when it does it provides internal support for the upper jaw. With your tongue being in the right place your teeth will grow straighter and your face will develop properly. The tongue plays an amazing role in our facial appreracne.
How It Works
Tailored Treatment Plans
12-Session Myofunctional Therapy Treatment Programs
The majority of my patients see me for a 12-session structured program, with each session progressively building on the one before it. The program starts with improving oral and facial muscle strength, and then works on swallowing, eating, speech, tongue-tie or sleep apnea exercises, depending on your symptoms.
12-session therapy programs usually last about six months. The sessions are held online using Skype or Clocktree, and you’ll meet with me for a 30-minute appointment every two-three weeks.
The daily time commitment is simple – five minutes twice day is all it takes!
These programs take into account all of the aspects of the one year program. This way you’ll learn exercises and techniques that will help you permanently change your oral myofunctional habits for the better.
One-Year Myofunctional Therapy Treatment Program
Balance Your Chi
For more complex cases that need a longer-term approach, or to ensure that the deepest of oral habits are effectively changed, my one-year therapy program is generally broken up into a three-phase structure:
Phase One – Intensive Phase
This is the most important and intensive part of the program. This is where the foundation for habit change is built and the muscles are retrained. It lasts for a period of eight sessions, and appointments are scheduled every two weeks.
Phase Two – Habituation Phase
In this phase, we are making sure that the new habits stick, and focusing on the specific needs that are identified during Phase One.
This is the most individualized part of the program. I continue to teach exercises but we meet less often, usually every three weeks, for around three months.
Phase Three – Retention Phase
This is the phase where things are getting easy. We meet for the remainder of the year on a more or less monthly basis. I check that your new habits are sticking and that ongoing progress is being made. This continued follow-up is how I ensure that your new habits will be with you for the rest of your life.
Tongue Tie Release Program Only
An Ancient Science
If you have already been diagnosed with an oral restriction and just want have the tongue released this program may be right for you. I do not ever recommend this program for my severe cases and older patients because there has been compensation for way too long. These things take some time to correct.
This program is 4 sessions of pre-op exercises building up the tongue for release and 2 post-op sessions to help aid with pain management.
Mini Myo Program
For my two to four year olds
Parents can often see the problems from a very young age but are not sure what to do, or who to ask for help. At this age, children are too young for braces or intensive myofunctional therapy, but they can definitely benefit from early intervention.
Most parents recognize mouth breathing, or an open mouth posture, and can tell that something isn’t right. An open mouth is a sign of potential airway problems. If your child has had their tonsils/adenoids removed, has had a sleep test, or snores, they could benefit from having a consultation with me.
The MiniMyo exercises have been specially designed for littler kids and their unique needs. Children this age don’t have the same oral and motor skills as older kids, and their shorter attention spans also need to be taken into account.
Every year that passes can make any problems more difficult to treat. MiniMyo allows parents to help their children by starting them young, and this can make an enormous difference.
So why wait until your child is six or seven, when you can start treating their issues now?
If you’re a parent looking to get an early start correcting problems, feel free to get in touch with me here and I’d be happy to tell you more.