Pediatric Myofunctional Therapy

Overview

Pediatric Myofunctional Therapy

Welcome to Stonebrook Pediatric Dentistry, where our excellent pediatric dentists, Dr. Abhishek Bhaumik and Dr. Liny John, help every child and their smile. In the world of pediatric dentistry, a lesser-known but essential therapy addresses the root cause of many dental problems. If you’re a parent who’s noticed your child’s oral habits, like thumb-sucking, mouth breathing, or incorrect tongue posture, you may be a candidate for pediatric myofunctional therapy in Frisco, TX.

We provide a variety of habit elimination therapy that affects our orofacial structures.
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What is Myofunctional therapy?

Myofunctional therapy includes individualized exercises to help strengthen the jaw and muscles of the tongue/face/mouth which corrects improper function of the tongue and facial muscles. It addresses the areas of breathing, eating, sleeping, and talking. Therapy is a non-invasive, low-risk way to treat ailments such as: tongue thrust, forward resting tongue posture (between or against teeth), open mouth posture, thumb/ finger sucking habits, and much more.
Why Would Your Child Need

What are Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs)?

OMDs are patterns that involve oral and orofacial musculature that interfere with the normal growth, development, or function of orofacial structures.

(Maspero, Prevedello, Giannini, Galbiati, & Farronato, 2014).

Our Goals

Nasal Breathing

Proper Tongue Posture

Proper Lip Seal

What to Expect?

Our Habit Elimination Therapies

Thumbsucking
Thumbsucking can affect the growth of the jaw. It can cause improper alignment of the teeth, high and narrow roof of the mouth, early loss of baby teeth, abnormal swallow patterns, sleep issues, and speech delays & disorders.
Mouth Breathing
In this section, you can list down your most popular services. Include different types of treatment, your facilities, and other wellness programs. Finally, add one or two lines as a description.
Pacifier
Although pacifier use is recommended for infants. It is best to break this habit before 4-6 years of age to avoid any improper alignment, narrow palate, and speech issues.
Why Would Your Child Need

Pediatric Myofunctional Therapy?

It’s essential to address any signs of myofunctional disorders early on. 

  1. Mouth Breathing: If your child habitually breathes through their mouth instead of their nose, it could indicate issues with nasal congestion, airway obstruction, or improper oral muscle function.
  2. Speech Difficulties: Difficulty with speech articulation, clarity, or persistent speech errors may indicate underlying myofunctional issues, such as tongue thrust or improper tongue positioning during speech production.
  3. Orthodontic Problems: Malocclusion (teeth misalignment), crowded teeth, or a narrow palate may be signs of abnormal oral muscle function or habits like tongue thrusting.
  4. Thumb Sucking or Finger Habits: Prolonged thumb sucking or finger habits can affect the development of the oral muscles and may contribute to issues such as open bite or improper swallowing patterns.
  5. Chewing and Swallowing Difficulties: Problems with chewing food thoroughly, frequent choking or gagging while eating, or difficulty swallowing certain textures may indicate underlying myofunctional issues affecting oral muscle coordination and function.
  6. Tongue Tie or Lip Tie: Structural issues such as tongue tie (ankyloglossia) or lip tie (restrictive frenulum) can impact oral function and may benefit from myofunctional therapy to improve muscle strength and coordination.
  7. Snoring or Sleep Disordered Breathing: Loud snoring, frequent pauses in breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), or restless sleep patterns could indicate airway issues that may benefit from myofunctional therapy to improve breathing and oral muscle function.
  8. Facial Muscle Weakness or Asymmetry: Weakness or asymmetry in the facial muscles, such as drooping of one side of the face or difficulty closing the lips properly, may indicate underlying myofunctional issues that require intervention.
  9. Persistent Oral Habits: Persistent oral habits like tongue thrusting, lip biting, or clenching/grinding of teeth can impact oral muscle function and may require myofunctional therapy to address.

These symptoms can be indicative of an underlying muscular issue, and pediatric myofunctional therapy serves as a minimally invasive intervention to correct these problems.

The Pediatric Myofunctional Therapy Evaluation

During a Pediatric Myofunctional Therapy evaluation, you can expect the therapist to assess various aspects related to your child’s oral and facial muscles, swallowing patterns, and overall oral function. Here’s what you might encounter during the evaluation:

  1. Medical History Review: Dr. Bhaumik or Dr. John will likely start by asking about your child’s medical history, including birth complications, developmental milestones, feeding difficulties, or previous therapies.
  2. Oral Examination: We will conduct a thorough examination of the oral cavity to assess the mouth’s structure, teeth alignment, tongue position, and any signs of oral dysfunction or abnormalities. We will also observe how your child’s facial muscles function, including the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw muscles. We may assess muscle strength, coordination, and range of motion.
  3. Function Evaluation: Dr. Bhaumik or Dr. John will observe your child’s swallowing, breathing, and speech patterns to identify any signs of dysfunction. Possible things we will look out for are tongue thrusting, improper swallowing techniques, breathing or nasal obstruction, and speech-related issues associated with dysfunction disorders.
  4. Functional Activities: Your child may be asked to perform various exercises or activities to assess their ability to use their oral and facial muscles effectively for tasks such as chewing, swallowing, and speaking.
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Pediatric Myofunctional

Therapy Solutions

Once the evaluation is complete, Dr. Bhaumik and Dr. John will discuss their findings with you and recommend a treatment plan tailored to your child’s needs. 

  1. Exercises: We often prescribe specific oral and breathing exercises tailored to individual needs. These exercises target strengthening and coordinating the muscles of the lips, tongue, cheeks, and jaw to improve functions such as swallowing, chewing, and speech production. The breathing exercises can improve nasal airflow, reduce upper airway resistance, and encourage proper diaphragmatic breathing. 
  2. Swallowing Therapy: Children with swallowing difficulties, such as tongue thrust or improper swallowing patterns, may benefit from swallowing therapy techniques. This could involve exercises to retrain the swallowing muscles and promote a more efficient and coordinated swallowing pattern.
  3. Behavioral Modification Techniques: Myofunctional therapy often involves teaching children and their parents/caregivers behavioral modification techniques to help break harmful oral habits and promote healthy oral behaviors. This may include strategies to discourage thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or mouth breathing.

Aftercare

After completing the myofunctional therapy program, it’s crucial to maintain the progress made. Your child may need to perform daily exercises to support the newly acquired habits. Additionally, regular follow-up visits with Dr. Abhishek Bhaumik and Dr. Liny John are recommended to monitor your child’s progress and make any necessary adjustments to their treatment plan.

Benefits of

Pediatric Myofunctional Therapy

The benefits of this therapy are far-reaching. Here are five reasons why pediatric myofunctional therapy could be life-changing for your child:

  1. Long-term Health: Pediatric myofunctional treatment provides a holistic approach to correcting oral and facial imbalances, leading to long-term health benefits. One significant benefit is the improvement in breathing patterns. Children who undergo this therapy often transition from mouth to nasal breathing, which enhances oxygen exchange, improves sleep quality, and can reduce the occurrence of sleep apnea.
  2. Speech Improvement: The therapy also positively impacts speech development. Correcting tongue positioning and strengthening oral muscles can help resolve articulation issues, leading to more explicit speech and effective communication. This improvement boosts the child’s confidence and social interactions.
  3. Growth and Alignment: Enhancing facial growth and dental alignment is another critical benefit. By training the muscles of the mouth and face to function correctly, myofunctional therapy can help guide the development of facial bones and teeth into more optimal positions, potentially reducing the need for orthodontic treatment in the future.
  4. Swallowing Improvement: Improved swallowing patterns and digestion are also notable benefits. Proper tongue posture and movement can correct swallowing dysfunctions, ensuring food is processed more effectively. This enhances nutrient absorption and minimizes digestive issues, such as acid reflux.
  5. Reducing Bad Habits: Pediatric myofunctional therapy can reduce or eliminate habits that adversely affect oral and facial development, such as thumb sucking, nail biting, and extended use of pacifiers.
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Pediatric Myofunctional Therapy in Frisco, TX

Pediatric myofunctional therapy offers an approach to pediatric dental care. By addressing the root causes of many oral and systemic health issues, this therapy paves the way for optimal growth and development. If you’re in the Frisco, TX, area, consider scheduling a consultation with Stonebrook Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about how myofunctional therapy could benefit your child. 

With commitment and diligent practice, the positive impact of this therapy can last a lifetime. Don’t hesitate to invest in your child’s oral and overall health — the results are sure to speak for themselves.

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