Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD)
Disorders of the orofacial myofunctional complex (muscles used for swallowing and facial expression) can have a profound impact on general health, dental health, orthodontic development and stability of orthodontic treatment. Common consequences of OMD are: upper jaw constriction, failure of the anterior teeth to fully erupt, over-eruption of the back teeth, anterior tooth proclination, abnormal palatal vault formation and associated dental issues such as crowding, ectopic eruption and impaction of permanent teeth. OMD can also have a negative impact on the developmental growth of the face.
OMDs are also a major cause (if not THE cause) of orthodontic relapse. Return of upper jaw constriction, anterior/posterior open bite, upper anterior tooth proclination/spacing, lower crowding and collapse are all common sequelae of persistent OMD.
Examples of OMD's are: Mouth Breathing, Prolonged Suckling Habits, Prolonged Sippy Cup Use, Lip Trapping Swallowing Pattern, Tongue Thrust Swallowing and Tongue Tie.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT)
Retraining breathing, swallowing and resting postures of the lips and tongue can have a very positive impact on the success of orthodontic treatment, the stability of orthodontic outcomes and in some cases, can avoid the need for orthodontic treatment altogether.
Below is a series of exercises that when prescribed by your orofacial myofunctional therapist, can greatly improve swallowing patterns, nasal breathing patterns and resting lip/tongue postures. Your therapist will instruct you which exercises are appropriate for you how and when to perform the exercises.
The videos below are to be used as a reminder of how to perform the exercises and should not be considered unless directed by your therapist.
Clearing a stuffed up nose with the Air Hungry Technique - First of all, practice good nasal hygiene. Blow your nose frequently to keep it mucus free. Now pinch your nose closed and close your ... Read More »
Balloon Lip - Place your tongue tip on the spot with your teeth lightly closed. Force air into the area behind your upper lip to inflate it like a balloon. Keep your tongue on the spot and ... Read More »
Bird Chirps - Practice creating suction with the front of your tongue by making repetitive clicking sounds. Place the tip of your tongue on the spot and create a small amount of suction..... Read More »
Bird Chirps 2 - Practice creating suction with the front of your tongue by making repetitive clicking sounds. Place the tip of your tongue on the spot and create a small amount of suction..... Read More »
Bowl Tongue - Place and hold a raisin in your tongue bowl, raise the tongue to the roof of your mouth and create some suction. Your tongue should only touch the inside of your molar.... Read More »
Button Battles - Place the flat end of the button against your front teeth and seal behind your lips. Slowly pull the other end of the string and try to hold a button in place with only your lips ... Read More »
Cheese Whiz Swallow - Dry the roof of your mouth, keep your mouth open, and your palate dry. Spread a small amount of cheese whiz on your palate behind the spot, but try not to get any on the ... Read More »
Continuous Drinking - Place an elastic on your tongue tip and place the tongue tip to the spot. Close your lips around the edge of a cup. Keeping your teeth closed, take several sequential sips.... Read More »
Diagonal Straw - cut a large straw diagonally on one end. Place the diagonal end inside your cheek against your teeth. Close your teeth and then close your lips. Place your tongue tip to the spot..... Read More »
Disc Elevator - Place one disc on the knotted end of a braided string. With your tongue tip, hold the end of the braid to the spot. Keep your mouth open. Using your lower lip, reach out and lift ... Read More »
Disc Hold - Start with one or two discs on the end of a knotted braided string. While keeping your mouth open, use your tongue to hold the end of the braided string to the spot.... Read More »
Elastic Hold Swallowing - Start with one elastic on the tip of your tongue and place the elastic to the spot. Close your lips and your teeth, suction saliva upwards and backwards, trapping the ... Read More »
Goldfish Bowl or Fruit Loop Swallow - Place a goldfish cracker or fruit loop in the bowl in the middle of your tongue. Place an elastic on your tongue tip, and place the tip of your tongue to the ... Read More »
Grand Pops - Pull and suction your upper and lower lips between your front teeth. Hold this suction for 5 seconds and then release with a loud pop. Repeat ten times.... Read More »
Horse Clucks - Practice creating suction with the backsides of your tongue by making repetitive horse cluck sounds. Place the tip of your tongue on the spot and create a small amount of suction.... Read More »
Horse Clucks - Practice creating suction with the backsides of your tongue by making repetitive horse cluck sounds. Place the tip of your tongue on the spot and create a small amount of suction, ... Read More »
Hot Dog Bun - Place a small food item like a raisin or an M&M into the center of your tongue. Lift and wrap up the item like a bun surrounds a hot dog, and then lift it to the roof of your mouth.... Read More »
Independent Tongue - Without touching your lips or your teeth, and without moving your lower jaw, practice moving your tongue independently. Start with the tongue on the floor of your mouth, lift ... Read More »
Knotted Straw - Tie a knot in a long straw to seal one end. Place the open end of the straw against your front teeth and not between them. Place your tongue tip on the spot and seal your lips ... Read More »
Lingual Frenum Stretch - Place a small mouth prop between your molars on one side. Try to place and stretch your tongue tip to the spot and hold there for ten seconds...... Read More »
Long Smooches - Place the tip of your tongue to the spot and close your teeth lightly. Pucker your lips as much as you can and suction or pull your teeth inward against your molars.... Read More »
Ooo's & Eee's - Keeping your teeth lightly closed, say Ooo, rounding and pushing your lips as far out as possible. Now say Eee, spreading your teeth as far as possible, but keeping your teeth ... Read More »
Pinch and Smile - Pinch the Philtrum of your upper lip with your thumb and finger. While keeping your teeth closed and lip pinched, smile widely until your fingers lose grasp of your grip..... Read More »
Quiet Time Swallows - The exercise is not part of your regular exercise time, but we want you to be aware of your resting tongue and lip posture, while you are watching TV, reading a book, or ... Read More »
Side Sweeping - Start by shaping the wrap up tongue like you did in the hot dog bun exercise, but with no food. Lift your tongue to the roof of your mouth and slowly slide your tongue backwards.... Read More »
Single Sips - Place an elastic on your tongue tip and place the tongue tip to the spot. Close your lips around the edge of a cup. Keeping your teeth closed...... Read More »
Skinny Tongue - Without touching either your teeth or your lips, stick your tongue straight out to make a skinny tongue. Hold still for ten seconds without touching your teeth or your lips. Read More »
Soft Food Swallowing - Say Ahh, and place a small amount of applesauce on the bowl of your tongue. Don't Reach. Close your lips and place your tongue tip to the spot..... Read More »
Squeaky Swallow - Place an elastic on the tip of your tongue and place your tongue tip to the spot. Squirt a little water behind your lower lip and close your lips and teeth gently...... Read More »
Straw drinking - Place an elastic on the tip of your tongue and place your tongue tip to the spot. Close your teeth lightly. Place a straw between your lips, but not between your teeth. Use upward ... Read More »
Suction & Hold - Place your tongue tip on the spot. Place the body of your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Create and maintain good suction for 30 seconds.... Read More »
To & Fro Swish - Place your tongue to the spot and keep it there throughout the exercise. Seal your lips around a cup. Suction water through your closed teeth and trap the water on top of your ... Read More »
Tongue Sounds - Open your mouth slightly, without touching your lips or teeth with your tongue and without movement of your lower jaw, practice making the la, ta, da, na sounds.... Read More »
Tongue to the Spot - Open your mouth wide and without touching your lips or your teeth, and without movement of your lower jaw, move the tip of your tongue slowly, with good control onto the spot.... Read More »
Water Slurp Swallow - Open your mouth wide and place your tongue tip to the spot. Squirt a moderate amount of water under your tongue and keep your teeth slightly apart, lips open...... Read More »
Water Trap Swallow - Place your tongue tip to the spot, teeth closed. Close your lips around the tip of a cup and suction up a small amount of water and immediately trap the water between your ... Read More »
Whispering Tee - Place your tongue tip to the spot. Move it down like saying a silent taa, taa, taa. Once you get the hang of this, hold a post it note just in front of your lips. Place the tongue ... Read More »