Frequently Asked Questions About Myofunctional Therapy

I have previously addressed the most common questions regarding myofunctional therapy in individual blog posts, such as:

  1. How much does myofunctional therapy cost?
  2. Why do I need myofunctional therapy?
  3. What do I need to do once I learn I have an Airway Centered Disorder or Sleep Disordered Breathing?

However, there are many questions I am often asked by new patients that may not require an entire individual post, but are equally important. They are frequent enough that everyone should be able to come to one central location to see the answers. So without further ado, here are the best of the frequently asked questions.

What is myofunctional therapy like?

Also phrased as what does myofunctional therapy entail or how does myofunctional therapy work?

The word therapy often envokes a mental imagery of something boring where you sit and are learning through talking or listening. Myofunctional therapy is exactly the opposite, especially with us at The Myo Spot.

I would not be able to get through the multiple sessions daily if they were all the same tedious routine. Each client is different and so, likewise, each program is different. Common threads do appear along the way, like the fact that we very rarely sit. I want blood flow and brain work, so we stand (when able) and engage the body and mind simultaneously.

Sessions are light, engaging, and fun. You will learn through play, no matter your age. While I compare the therapy to working with a personal trainer at a gym, it will not actually be me standing over you while you do exercises. I teach using physical demonstration, laughter, analogies, and positive reinforcement.

In short, myofunctional therapy is like being on the playground with a friend who knows how to do everything there and guides you on a journey of learning through play.

What is the sequence of orthodontics and therapy?

Also phrased as what should I do first or what is the best time to start/complete therapy during orthodontics?

There is no optimal or ideal timeline that would fit everyone’s personal needs and situation. However, it is important to be aware that myofunctional therapy will aid the orthodontic appliance in expanding the palate and retaining the growth.

Orthodontic appliances are often very costly and myofunctional therapy can be as well. This is where many people drop the ball and hope to pick it up later. If you can not start myofunctional therapy during the first six months of your orthodontic treatment, it will not be the end of the world. You will always achieve results with appliance therapy when done with all the compliance the provider requires. Myofunctional therapy just amplifies your results and you may miss out on optimal results if you never start it. Within the first year of a two year appliance therapy, I highly suggest you begin myofunctional therapy.

So while the timing may not be right immediately due to budget or other commitments, myofunctional therapy should be done at some point within the treatment timeline.

Is therapy just for children?

Also phrased as do you only treat kids and am I too old to do myofunctional therapy?

Absolutely not! You are never too old to begin or complete a myofunctional therapy program. Benefits of treatment such as improved health, sleep, and eating are universal. You deserve to have that equally as much as your child does.

As with all things in life, learning and changes with myofunctional therapy are more challenging as you get older. But you are not excluded from the beneficial outcomes and results of myofunctional therapy, it will just require more work and commitment.

Often times in adults I see that things (i.e. symptoms) get worse before they begin to get better. It is a positive sign of change, so don’t fret or give up, keep pushing through to get to the rainbow at the end of the journey.

Is tele-therapy as effective as in person?

By far this is the most common question I am asked. Yet, I always have to return the question to the asker.

This depends on your learning style and capabilities. If you feel you benefit best from having physical demonstration on your person, where I would be able to point to the area we are working on, then in-person is for you. Tele-therapy has the same amount of instructions without physical stimulation.

You need to decide on the learning style that works best for you. Both tele-therapy and in person therapy are equally effective, but personal preference determines best personal strategy.

Where can I find more information?

While Google is the best friend for all who seek answers, I do have a blog post with links to research articles regarding myofunctional therapy. You can also find information on our website or through the International Association of Orofacial Myology.

Karese Laguerre is a Registered Dental Hygienist and Orofacial Myologist. In her years of working with various patient populations in the dental field, she encountered similar trends and limitations in dental malocclusion and mouth-breathing. The correlation between the two became even more relevant as her own children grew in age and with the pursuit of extensive hours in continuing education she achieved training in treating the primary cause, improper oral resting posture. She is passionate about the education of airway matters to the general public.

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