Myofunctional therapyChildren and adults of all ages can benefit!
What Is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?
Myofunctional therapy is an exercise-based program for your facial and oral structures. The therapy strengthens the muscles of the tongue, mouth, lips and face for growth and development: optimizing chewing, speaking, swallowing and breathing.
Who needs myofunctional therapy?
Myofunctional dysfunctions are quite common, children and adults of all ages can benefit! When treating children, we prevent problems down the road in life, and with adults we work through and correct the symptoms of their myofunctional issues. Adults can get amazing results and make life-changing progress.
We recommend myofunctional therapy to our patients that have some of the following issues:
Nighttime Snoring or Sleep Apnea
Thumb or Finger Sucking Habits
Forward Head Posture
Neck and Shoulder Tension
Misaligned Bite or Crooked Teeth
Clenching and Grinding
The Four Goals of Myofunctional Therapy are:
If you are going through orthodontics, myofunctional dysfunctions are a problem because:
- It can slow down your orthodontic treatment, keeping your braces on for a longer time.
- It can make your teeth move again, even after your braces are taken off.
- It can make moving your teeth and closing spaces much more difficult for your orthodontist. When the muscles of your mouth and face are not in balance, solving orthodontic problems is much more challenging.
A Myofunctional Therapist (MFT) can be an instrumental figure in helping a patient learn to re-train the facial muscles and eliminate these bad habits.
MFTs are skilled at helping children and adults gain control over muscular habits, including those involved in a tongue thrust and mouth breathing. For children and adults who struggle with these habits, stopping the habit is not always easy. This is because all of the muscles of the face and mouth have been programmed over the course of many years. The person’s body does not know how to use the tongue and facial muscles correctly, and needs help.
A consultation with a MFT can be very valuable. If the muscles are not re-trained, your orthodontic treatment and final result may be compromised. Besides affecting orthodontic treatment, these dysfunctions have a lasting negative impact on a person’s general health, speech, dental health, swallowing and breathing throughout life.
Aimee Till is a dental hygienist and a myofunctional therapist here at Brushin’ on Belmont. She graduated with honors from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Dental Hygiene in 2014 and has been a part of our team since 2016. Her myofunctional training is with MyoMentor by Sarah K. Hornsby and research founded by Dr. Zaghi of The Breathe Institute.