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Oral Motor & Myofunctional Therapy

What is oral motor & myofunctional therapy?

Oral motor therapy targets development of structures and musculature of the oral mechanism necessary for speech and feeding. Oral motor therapy can be introduced as early as infancy. The focus of OMT is improving function of the lips, tongue, and jaw at rest and in motion, such as when speaking and eating. Adequate oral motor strength and function is important when targeting development of articulation, phonology, and feeding skills. Oral motor therapy focuses on appropriate breathing patterns, oral rest posture, muscle control and coordination, dissociation, and range of motion.

Myofunctional therapy focuses on neuromuscular retraining to ensure proper functioning of oro-facial musculature. It is an individualized program targeting improvement of resting relationships between the lips, tongue, teeth, and jaws. Typically, myofunctional therapy is beneficial for those individuals who can follow through with exercises and home carryover programs. Myofunctional therapy targets goals, such as improving oral rest posture, establishing nasal breathing patterns, eliminating oral habits, and correcting swallowing patterns.