Speech therapy works closely with orthodontics to speed up and stabilize the result of orthodontic therapy over time in case of alteration of oral functions such as: chewing, swallowing, breathing and speech production.
The speech therapist proposes cycles of myofunctional therapy (TMF) to re-educate the deviated oral functions and avoid the onset of orofacial muscle imbalance.
The most frequent symptoms are:
Deviated swallowing (with problems chewing and swallowing solid and / or liquid foods)
Oral breathing, i.e. with an open mouth
Alteration of the articulation of speech sounds
Labial incompetence (the upper lip is raised and cannot cover the teeth)
High and narrow palate
Oral vices (prolonged use of bottle and pacifier, sucking of the finger)
Wrong “resting” position of the tongue
Poor coordination and asymmetry of the orofacial musculature
The tongue is the strongest muscle in our body! In case of deviated swallowing, the tongue pushes or interposes itself between the teeth creating an impediment to their growth or a displacement after their eruption. Re-educating the function of the tongue and orofacial muscles speeds up the time of orthodontic treatment and avoids relapses of malocclusion.
There is no precise age to start … TMF is useful in children, adolescents and adults and can be performed before, during and after orthodontic therapy. TMF is practiced in many countries.
The subject’s motivation is essential to obtain results since the therapy involves daily muscle training to be carried out at home following the exercises proposed by the speech therapist.
The duration of therapy varies according to the severity of the dysfunction, the motivation of the subject and also the help of the parents. Many children and many adults have achieved effective and stable results over time, thanks to the restoration of impaired functions and their automation.