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Orofacial Myology Disorders

Individuals of all ages may suffer from OMDs. These disorders may interfere with normal growth and development of the muscles and bones on the face and mouth and interfere with how an individual is able to eat, talk, and breath. 

We also offer oral habit elimination programs. Oral habits may include finger or thumb sucking or prolonged pacifier use. 

Why control these oral habits? 

Although not considered a serious problem by many as far as habits are concerned, if thumb or finger sucking persists longer than it should, some not-so-pleasant problems develop. Thumb sucking can speed up the growth of the upper jaw, slow down the growth of the lower jaw, and cause improper alignment of the teeth. 

Other long-term complications may also develop. Constant pressure by the thumb or fingers can cause high narrow palate, early loss of baby teeth, abnormal swallowing patterns, improper tongue position, and speech problems.

Children who can break the habit typically enjoy an improved appearance, an ability to speak more clearly, and better dental health. 

When is the best time to break the habit?

The best time to break the habit is before the permanent teeth grow in, at around the age of 4 to 6. If your child is older and continues to suck their thumb or fingers, don’t worry. Therapy performed by a qualified Speech Pathologist with training in Orofacial Myology can usually begin to reverse the negative effects of oral habit sucking in just a few weeks.

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