Misaligned teeth, as we’ve examined throughout the past two posts, are a result of early oral habits including poor eating habits and the use of pacifiers past six months and the introduction of sippy cups. As the child develops, the natural mouth and jaw shape begin to change and cause malocclusions such as an underdeveloped jaw or crowded teeth. Armed with this information, as a parent you can talk with your family dentist and educate yourself on myofunctional training.
Healthy dental habits begin early in life, and arguably, they begin with the parent. At Precision Dental of Windsor, we’re here to help guide parents and kids alike in our family dentistry practice. Your search ends here for the leading dentist in Windsor! Gain more insight and practical knowledge on myofunctional training in today’s post.
Practical Applications of Myofunctional Training
If you haven’t read about myofunctional training, go back to our last post.
Myofunctional training begins in early development to help mitigate malocclusions and guide the natural development of the face and jaw.
Begin with nasal breathing.
It’s common for a lot of kids to have nasal congestion, and many dentists support the idea that cleaning and clearing your child’s nose of all the gunk is more important for their teeth than tooth brushing!
You can address a stuffy nose with a warm washcloth, nasal irrigation, and using a bulb syringe. Breath work and slowing the breath down can also help to clear the sinuses.
Learn proper tongue posture.
Did you know your tongue is supposed to be in a certain place? Proper tongue posture is when the tongue rests gently on the roof of the mouth. To help your child establish this posture, consider the following:
- Make a popping sound: Make a game with your child of pushing their tongue to the roof of their mouths to produce a popping sound. Work on it until they get it, and then repeat up to 20 times.
- Trace the roof their mouth: Have your child touch their tongue to the roof of their mouth and trace their teeth all the way back and around.
Incorporate proper lip posture.
The proper and best lip posture is a closed lip posture, and this can be acquired by helping to balance the facial muscles. You can help guide a closed lip posture with lip stretches where you pull the upper lip in front of the teeth and repeat the same with the bottom lip.
After six months, solid foods are perfectly acceptable to introduce into your child’s diet.
Forming a natural mouth and jaw can begin with chewing! Encourage your child to chew raw fruits and vegetables such as carrots, celery, and apples.
Support sleep, speech, and overall functions.
Posture does great things for the whole body! Teach your child to sit up straight, with their shoulders level, and their head tilted back.
For improved speech teach them about talking slowly and deliberately, and incorporate humming and vowel pronunciation.
With a little due diligence and consistency, you can help your child’s face and jaw development and hopefully avoid malocclusions that lead to braces.
So, are we all destined for braces? Not if we’re practicing healthy eating habits and avoiding other oral habits like using pacifiers past six months and using sippy cups!