When do I begin Myofunctional Therapy? Great question recently brought up in discussion with clients. My client will be going into orthodontic brackets soon initiating the process of surgical intervention to adjust and widen the maxillary and mandibular arch. Myofunctional therapy retrains the orofacial muscles to function properly. This client presents with an open bite, tongue thrust, tongue-tie, and to correct and align dentition will need surgical intervention along with orthodontic care. Where do we begin? What is the best way to approach this case? Reaching out and communicating with both the oral surgeon and orthodontist is key in providing clients in this circumstance optimal recovery. But surgery will fix everything, right? Would you have webbing between your fingers severed and not go to OT to retain how your finger and grasp work after years of compensating for the restricted movement? The body compensate and engage muscles in a function they are not meant for in order to survive. These habits are difficult to break. Specific exercises designed in my program will strengthen and tone muscles to engage proper movement. This particular case the open bite is a relapse from earlier orthodontic treatment. What caused the open bite to open again? Tongue thrusting, swallowing average of 800 times a day with pressure from the tongue coming forward and out instead of up and back, forces pressures on the dentition to shift. Cheek and lip muscles are not engaging properly in the swallow and loose muscle tone. Oral surgeon’s see clients for surgery then 8 weeks post op, is that all our bodies need? When surgical case fails or relapses 5-10 years after surgery since the muscle pattern remain the same, who will be responsible? How do we not relapse? Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy retrains the muscles of the face, tongue, cheeks to function properly. Re-patterning the engagement of these muscles to work the motions they were intended for will give the best benefits to post-op surgical relapse. This is just like physical therapy we proceed with after other surgical intervention. Collaborating with orthodontist and oral surgeon are key for client’s success in recovery and to sustain the best results!
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