Myofunctional therapy is a specialized remedial program specifically designed for the correction of the tongue thrust/posture problem.
Myofunctional Therapy/Orofacial Myology
Exercise techniques are used to educate and synchronize the muscles associated with swallowing and the postural position of the tongue, lips, and face.
Dental Habit Appliances
Tongue cribs/tongue appliances are dental devices used to block the tongue, however they do not train muscles. It is suggested that if an appliance is used some type of muscle training be used as well
*Because of the difficulty in habituation of new patterns, a combination of therapy and an appliance may be used.
With sincere cooperation of the patient and family, and if there is no neuromuscular involvement, the percentage of correction is very high.
The best age for correction is when the patient can be most highly motivated. It should not be determined by the chronological age of the patient but by the patient’s attitude. If the patient can learn some of the fundamentals at a very early age, it is more likely he/she can grow into a normal swallowing pattern and not need future therapy.
Because each person is unique, the period of time for correction is highly variable. Correction depends entirely upon the difficulty of the problem and the cooperation of the patient and family. Usually complete correction will not occur until the dental or speech problem is also corrected.
Some of these definitions were adopted from William E. and Julie Zickefoose.