If you suffer from orofacial myofunctional disorder, then you might be looking for therapies to treat it. There are several that therapies that include easy exercises that can be done at home.
However, these exercises are done after the cause like tonsils, adenoids, etc. are treated. The aim of myofunctional therapy is to help you perform the normal eating, breathing, swallowing, and drinking habits.
The Going to an Speech-language pathologist would charge a bomb. Once you are diagnosed with OMD, you can do a few exercises at the comfort of your home daily to get rid of the symptoms.
Doing them in the SLP clinic will charge you a bomb, so it’s always convenient to do it on your own. To know more, scroll down for the myofunctional therapy exercises.
Myofucntional Therapy Exercises is a program to correct the improper functioning of the tongue and facial muscles used at rest when chewing and swallowing.
It basically involves a series of exercises that aims to correct the oral-rest posture, eating habits, swallowing habits, speech production and oral habits.
The absolute cure of orofacial myofucntional disorder are the myofucntional therapies. The treatment method and the exercises are dependent on the cause, severity, and the duration.
Why Are Myofunctional Therapy Exercises Done?
The aim of the orofacial exercises is to eliminate the symptoms faced with OMD. The exercises are based on the following things:
- Exercises to increase awareness of the tongue positioning
- Strategies to improve the muscle function and position
- Positioning of tongue correctly when eating, swallowing, and drinking
- Orthotic devices to help retrain muscles
Myofunctional Therapy Exercises For Adults
The exercises that are explained below are meant for children and adults who are above 6 years of age. You can do at home or wherever you want to.
However, avoid doing these in public places as the may pull undesirable attention. Moreover, these myofunctional exercises are for tongue thrust too which is the most common symptom in OMD.
These exercises are easy. However, you will take some time to do them in their perfect form. It is because you are going to do something to overcome your habit.
You have to repeat each of these exercises for 5 times and for at least four times a day. You have to do them daily and you will take from months to years to get best results for the same.
1. Push Your Tongue Up
For this, you have to place the tip your tongue on the roof of your mouth just behind the top teeth and push it upwards. Hold this position for good 5-10 seconds.
How It Works?
This works by eliminating the habit of pushing your tongue forward while eating, drinking, and talking.
2. Touch Your Nose
Take out your tongue and try to touch the tip of your nose. Hold it for few seconds and then relax.
How Does It work?
This works by eliminating the habit of keeping your tongue down at all times.
3. Touch Your Chin
Take out your tongue and try to touch your chin with its tip. Do it for few seconds and then relax.
What Does It do?
This myofunctional exercise increases the elasticity of your tongue to put it up and down when required.
4. Push Your Tongue Left And Right
Take out your tongue and turn it to your left as far as you can. Remain in the same position for 5 seconds and then repeat. Do the same by turning your tongue towards the right.
5. Roll Your Tongue
Try rolling your tongue in the upward direction lengthwise. You have to roll it like a straw. Stick it for good 10 seconds and then repeat.
How It Works
This works by bringing back the ability of tongue to roll up and make sounds like sh, ch, and j.
6. Click Your Tongue
Make a loud clicking sound with your tongue by pressing it against the roof of your mouth. Do it for good 5 times.
7. Myofucntional Exercise With A Spoon
Keep a spoon infornt of your lips and push the tip of your tongue against a spoon for good 10 seconds. Make sure your tongue is straight and does not point downwards.
How It Works?
This works by balancing the tongue in a straight line and avoiding the habit to take it down.
8. Hold A Spoon With Your Lips
Place the handle of a metal spoon between your lips and hold it in place with only your lips for 10 seconds. Make sure the handle should be held with the lips and not with the teeth. You have to keep the handle parallel to the floor of your mouth,
What Does It do?
It strengthens the entire facial area and helps to coordinate the tongue, lip, and facial muscles together.
9. Hold A Candy
Tie a candy with a string. Hold the string with your hand and with the help of your tongue place it between your teeth and lips. Hold your tongue and lips tightly so that it shouldn’t slip. Be in the position for good 10 seconds.
Myofunctional Exercise For Kids
Kids who are less than six years of age can’t do the above exercises. So, for them, there are few activities that you can try to treat the orofacial myofucntional disorder.
10. Drink With Straw
Ask your kid to drink with a straw. You can attract them by asking them to have their favorite drink with the straw.
What Will It Do?
This will help them to stabilize their tongue when drinking and also prevent their tongue from hanging out while eating and drinking.
Ask your kids to pout in air or kiss the mirror with a perfect pout. Ask them to do it 5-6 times in a day.
What Will It Do?
This will enhance the coordination between the cheek, lip, and jaw muscles.
13. Hold A Pencil
Make your kid hold a pencil with their lip without their tongue coming out. Hold the position for 5 seconds and repeat it for 5 times.
How It Work?
This will strengthen the facial muscles and allow the tongue to be stable.
14. Blowing Games
Make your kids play blowing bubble game, blow a balloon, blow air, and other blowing games daily. Try changing games to keep their interest. This will be helpful for them to keep their tongue inside.
Yoga Exercises For Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder
The myofunctional therapies that focus on yoga are extremely beneficial as they work to remove the cause from the root by strengthening your entire facial muscles and their functioning too.
These are also called as myofuntional exercise for sleep apnea as they target the breathing patterns and thus bring up a relieve with symptoms of sleep apnea like snoring.
A list of the few effective ones is given below. You have to repeat each of them five times and twice a day for good results. A few popular myofunctional therapy exercises for adults are given below:
15. Breath Through Your Nose
- Breath in through your nose. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Breath out through your mouth. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Relax and repeat.
16. Nasal Breathing
- Close your lips
- Press your index finger on the right nostril and breath in through your left nostril. Next, press your finger on your left nostril and breath out with your right nostril.
- Repeat it the same way starting with your left nostril.
- After each repetition relax for 5 seconds and then repeat.
17. Deep Breathing
- Sit in a criss-cross position and place your hand on your knees.
- Take a long deep breath inside.
- As you inhale focus on pulling your navel back towards your spine. Pull it as far as possible.
- Slowly breath out bringing your stomach muscles out. The exhalation pattern should be forceful that all the air from your body comes out.
- Relax and repeat again.
18. Bellow’s Breath
- Sit in a criss-cross position with hands on your knees.
- Take 5 breaths in and out through your nose.
- When you exhale expand your stomach as much as you can.
- Continue to inhale and exhale with force. For each exhalation and inhalation, you should take 1 second. make sure your shoulders are erect when you do this.
- The 5 breaths will complete one cycle. After this relax and start with the next cycle.
You can start off with the treatment without any guidance. They are risk-free and very effective myofunctional therapy exercises for adults and big children. They start showing results just after a month of regularity.
When doing this make sure you are doing it in the correct form, time, and repetitions. Don’t skip them otherwise it would take a bit longer to treat the OMD symptoms.
In addition to this, if you wish you can consult your SLP or doctor to guide you with the perfect form and any particular exercise that addresses your individual needs.