The orofacial (oral and face) muscles have a major influence on our teeth, breathing, and speech. In fact the position of these muscles, when working or at rest, can influence whether we have straight, healthy teeth and/or large healthy sinuses.
In order for the orofacial muscles to function well, the ideal “oral rest posture” would have the following characteristics:
- Closed lips creating a good seal
- Facial symmetry
- Breathing through the nose
- Tongue resting at the roof of the mouth.
The oral posture described above will tend to develop larger jaws and accommodate adult teeth, helping to reduce crowding and may promote clearer speech. As well, larger jaws allow the sinus cavity to grow, leading to healthier breathing. The chances of relapse after orthodontic treatment is also reduced.
In contrast, when the lips are open, the tongue posture is low, and/or breathing occurs through the mouth, the child will most likely develop a long and narrow face, narrow jaws, which can lead to crowded teeth and/or eating difficulties. Narrow jaws can also influence the growth of smaller sinuses which can result in breathing issues. Speech may become a problem and orthodontic treatment relapse is more likely.
Your dentist or hygienist, who have received specialized training in Oral Rest Posture can help attain the correct oral rest posture. By using customized neuromuscular exercises, the lips, tongue and face muscles can be taught to rest in the proper place. This is known as “Myofunctional Therapy” and has the potential to improve the following:
- Dental bite and healthier teeth
- Reduction in orthodontic relapse
- Tongue thrust
- Jaw and Facial appearance
- Swallowing and Eating
- Breathing patterns (promotes nasal oppose to mouth breathing)
- Speech concerns
If you have any further questions regarding myofunctional therapy, contact Dr. Jamie Liu at 519-453-5111 (1).