To get the best function from our muscles in our head, neck, and face; where these muscles rest is important. Your tongue should "live" in the roof of your mouth, lips should be sealed with no tension, and nasal breathing present. Do you have any sleep disorders? Lack of quality sleep? Do you have a dry mouth when you wake up? Gum problems? Is it hard to catch your breath? Do you or your loved one tend to get anxious or worried? Chronically congested or suffer from allergies? Mouth breathing can quite often be a sign of another underlying cause. Mouth breathing encourages the muscles of the face to “hang low” and not support proper airway, facial, and dental growth. We are trained to address and evaluate the cause of mouth breathing and to promote nasal breathing. The techniques we use will benefit the individual for a lifetime.
Tongue thrust also know as a reverse swallow is a muscle pattern which is visible by the tongue noticeably pushing forward during speaking and swallowing. This thrusting pattern is usually a compensation for other underlying issues which can or may include:
Tongue tie, oral habits (thumb sucking, pacifier use, etc), prolonged bottle or sippy cups, enlarged tonsils / adenoids, nasal allergies, and difficulty swallowing.
Over time the light continuous force of the tongue resting forward and down, or low and out, will cause the teeth to move into an unfavorable position. It is important to note if the tongue thrust is not addressed before braces are removed, teeth will shift back over time.
Leaving a tongue thrust untreated can lead to teeth shifting after braces are removed. Your muscles working properly are your faces' braces!
Sucking habits can lead to orofacial dysfunction - this may include thumb sucking, pacifier, and or finger sucking. We feel that each child with an oral habit does better with a positive and nurturing approach in quitting. We help stop thumb sucking and stop pacifier use with building the child's confidence and offering support for the whole family.
We are trained to evaluate and screen for tongue ties and lip ties, how they impact optimal muscle function; and if a frenectomy would be warranted. Some lip ties and tongue ties symptoms include excessive drooling, speech impairments, chewing and swallowing problems, mouth breathing, sleep-disordered breathing, and or sleep apnea, dental crowding, and orthodontic relapse.