Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy Treatment
Therapy starts with a thorough examination of the structure and function of the orofacial muscles. We evaluate lip and tongue position at rest, swallowing, breathing, jaw opening/closing, tongue frenum attachment, facial symmetry, posture, and lip strength, among other things. Therapy is personalized to each individual's needs, based on the evaluation. It generally consists of half hours sessions with exercises to be performed at home on a daily basis. Sessions begin with once a week, then spread out over the course of approximately one year. We are retraining muscles that have not been used properly in a long time, if ever, so consistency is the key to success.
There will need to be collaboration with other medical and dental professionals in order to get the most benefit from therapy. Since mouth breathing is a known trigger for myofunctional disorders, an ENT or Allergist may need to be consulted prior to therapy. An orthodontist will usually be involved, as well. Besides straightening the teeth, an orthodontist can help to expand the palate to make room for the tongue and teeth. If a tongue or lip tie is present, we will also work with a specialist to revise the frenums.
Therapy could be recommended for someone with a tongue thrust, low tongue posture, mouth breathing, TMJ/facial muscle pain, orthodontic relapse, open bite, cross bite, tongue tie, and habit elimination.
Thumb and finger sucking, extended pacifier use, nail biting, lip licking, and tongue sucking are just some of the parafunctional habits that can be detrimental to oral health. Sucking habits can lead to a high, narrow palate, flared front teeth, and open bite. Open bite makes it difficult to bite into foods with the front teeth, as the teeth do not touch. Positive reinforcement techniques are important to promote elimination of these habits, however, the child must be ready and willing to quit.
Many patients with myofunctional disorders have a habit of breathing through their mouth in the day or night. Myofunctional therapy includes exercises to improve lip tone, lip closure, and nasal breathing. Nasal breathing is essential to maintain total body health as the body cannot absorb oxygen as well when air is breathed in and out through the mouth.
Pre and Post Frenectomy
If a patient is found to have a tight or short lingual frenum (tongue tie), therapy will be performed before and after the release. The lingual frenum or frenulum is the band of attachment under the tongue that may prevent the tongue from properly resting in the palate. Doing therapy prior to and after the release will improve the outcome of the tongue tie release and help to prevent reattachment as the tongue heals.
What is the cost of treatment?
I've experienced the great benefits of myofunctional therapy myself and want it to be affordable to reach more people. Please contact me for specific pricing. Payments methods include cash, check, or credit card.
Does insurance cover therapy?
Some medical insurance plans may cover myofunctional therapy. I will do everything I can to work with you and your insurance company to maximize your benefits, however, I do not accept assignment of benefits, so payment is made at the time of service, and the patient is reimbursed by the insurance company. If you would like to know if your specific plan covers therapy, please contact me for more information on what to ask your insurance carrier.