mouth exercises to prevent braces

Mouth Exercises to Prevent Braces

mouth exercises to prevent bracesThousand Oaks, Westlake Village and Agoura Hills, CA

These days, it seems inevitable that children end up in braces or orthodontic treatment to some extent. Children are known to either grow their teeth straight or not, and for majority of cases, crooked teeth seem to be the norm. While you can encourage good habits to help lessen your child’s risk of tooth decay or gum disease, did you know there are specific exercises your child can do to help reduce their need for orthodontics later on?

Research now tells us that a child’s jaw and tongue significantly impact the development of their teeth. Poor oral habits can cause developmental issues, as well as crooked teeth, especially when habits such as pacifier or bottle usage go beyond the recommended age. The constant pressure created by sucking on a thumb, pacifier or even prolonged bottle usage creates weakened oral muscles that result in poor oral posture, protruding and misaligned teeth.

Instead of ignoring the problem and fixing it later with braces, why not prevent the need for orthodontics. We can achieve this through the use of myofunctional therapy. By retraining the oral and facial muscles to function properly, your child could potentially avoid the need for orthodontics later on.

What is myofunctional therapy?

Myofunctional therapy helps strengthen, tone, and coordinate the function of the tongue, mouth, and face. This, in turn, helps the teeth emerge in proper positioning, facilitates a wide dental arch to accommodate all their teeth, and helps achieve a more desirable facial appearance.

What can myofunctional therapy do?

Teeth aren’t the only thing that myofunctional therapy can improve. These exercises also help encourage nasal breathing, which is healthier for the body than breathing through the mouth. Also, the exercises help strengthen the tongue, and mouth, which results in correct tongue and lip posture. For infants, myofunctional therapy can assist in breastfeeding, eating, and chewing. Another broad benefit is an improvement in sleep, speech, and function.

How do I know if my child needs myofunctional therapy?

Receiving myofunctional therapy should only come from a licensed myofunctional therapist in Agoura Hills such as the ones on staff at Integrative Dental Arts. It may be difficult to know if your child needs myofunctional therapy, which is why a routine examination is necessary for a child of any age. The earlier we identify the problem, the quicker we can achieve desired results. However, children of all ages, even adults, may benefit from myofunctional therapy.

Ignoring your child’s need for myofunctional therapy may result in long-term health consequences such as a narrow airway – a risk of sleep apnea, and a lack of proper airflow, which is not healthy for overall development. Plus, improper facial growth and development can result in speech difficulties or problems chewing and eating food, not to mention the undesirable looks that may result from an elongated face. 

Myofunctional Therapy in Agoura Hills

To learn more about oral care in Agoura Hills, contact Integrative Dental Arts by calling (818) 889-0400 to schedule a consultation.

Integrative Dental Arts serves patients living and working in the areas of Agoura Hills and Westlake Village in southern California.