Treatment is appropriate for children, teens and adults. Treatment goals are individualized and are meant to create new healthy oral habits. The benefit of healthy habits can include nasal breathing, favorable resting tongue position and preserving orthodontic results from treatment. A variety of exercises are assigned each week to be performed daily or multiple times a day. Exercises focus on resting tongue posture, lip strength and swallowing . A commitment to daily consistent exercise is required to obtain success in treatment. The exercises must be carried out until permanent habits are corrected and proper muscle patterns take place.
1)Thumb/finger sucking elimination program:
While your mouth is developing, the tongue should rest on the roof of your mouth. Proper formation of the roof of the mouth is a U shape. When there is a sucking habit, the tongue drops to the floor of the mouth. If the tongue isn’t in the palate, the arch can become malformed. This leads to crooked teeth, a high palate and a narrow airway. This program uses behavior modification and positive reinforcement. The child needs to be ready and involved in the process. This program usually involves 2-4 visits.
2) Orofacial therapy program:
This is the typical therapy program for children and adults. This program is comprehensive and covers a variety of oral problems. This program helps reverse damaging habits, such as tongue thrust. This program can last from six months to a year. The objective of this program is to eliminate bad habits, demonstrate therapeutic facial exercises, develop proper lip seal and tongue placement and teach chewing and swallowing patterns to reinforce good habits. These goals will help the structures in the mouth stay in balance and habitualizing the learned behaviors is most important for long term success.
Goals of Therapy
Goals of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) are:
- eliminate habits
- find resting tongue position
- achieve adequate lip seal at rest
- find typical pattern of swallowing
- have bilateral chewing
- correct drinking habits
- encourage nasal breathing
- establish good head and neck posture
Why Choose OMT?
In addition to all the healthy goals, there are long term advantages to therapy. Elimination of habits and use of healthy oral behaviors can:
- decrease periodontal disease
- reduce risk of orthodontic relapse
- strengthen muscles to have a positive effect on appearance
- reduce head and neck posture problems
- affect sleep patterns
- help produce more precise speech sounds