If you're here reading this you either follow me on social media and saw my post about childhood myofunctional issues and have more questions or you were on my website and stumbled across my blog. Whatever brought you here I'm glad you came!
Today I want to talk about something AMAZING that is changing the game for children with myofunctional issues. The MYO MUNCHEE!
Since many myofunctional issues stem from developmental problems created in early childhood catching and treating myofunctional issues early on can be pivotal in preventing those issues from developing as adults. But, if you are a parent you know that getting a kid to wear a coat is a battle many of us don't win so getting them to do therapy exercises is something only the few and the proud will master.
Enter the Munchee...
In 1967 Dr. Kevin Bourke revolutionized the myofunctional world with this tiny device. Using this small silicone mouthpiece for just 10 minutes every day can create lifelong effects on not just a child's chewing, swallowing, and breathing, but on their overall health. Those effects follow them clear into adulthood by creating ideal posture of the facial muscles, jaw, and tongue throughout early development.
To better understand how this can help it would be beneficial to discuss the signs or symptoms of NOT having ideal posture of the facial muscles, jaw, and tongue throughout early development. Children who have myofunctional issues may present with the following issues:
Difficulty eating or a picky eater - children who struggle with food texture, choke often, gag while eating or tend to show favoritism towards softer food that are easy to chew may be showing indications of a swallowing disorder. When the child cannot form a proper bolus with their tongue to correctly move the food to the center of the tongue and then push it back they can experience issues with gagging or even choking on food. Because we are prone to start infants on pureed food when they are starting to eat, this issue may not be apparent early on. Bottle fed babies or babies who use a pacifier tend to have more myofunctional issues surrounding swallowing and chewing than breast fed babies.
Speech issues or delays - Children who are delayed in talking or are hard to understand when speaking can be indicative of a tongue positioning issue. Children that seem especially frustrated by their lack of ability to communicate properly can be another indicator that tongue position is inhibiting their speech.
Sleep challenges and/or behavioral issues - Toddlers and children of early elementary school age who often have sleep disturbances like sleep apnea, night terrors, frequent waking, snoring and/or bed wetting after potty training may be showing signs of myofunctional issues. Myofunctional issues are strongly related to concerns involving behavior as they can lead to breathing problems (mouth breathing), which result in poor sleep. With poor sleep, behavioral changes are often observed. If children are displaying ADD/ADHD symptoms such as inattention, impulsivity, or low tolerance for frustration, then this can be caused by them not getting deep, quality sleep. Most parents are told that such behaviors are due to the child’s personality, but in fact they can be caused by myofunctional issues leading to enlarged tonsils/adenoids resulting in insufficient oxygenation at night that is disturbing their sleep.
Ear and tonsil infections - Proper swallowing is designed to clear the auditory tubes (ear canal) naturally reducing the risk of ear infections. When a child is not swallowing properly the tubes are not cleared adequately resulting in greater risk for frequent infection. Children who have myofunctional issues are also prone to tonsil infections because they are commonly mouth breathers, since breathing through your nose cleanses and humidifies the air as we breathe it not having that step leaves the throat open to increased risk of infection and inflammation.
Growth and development issues (including crowding of the teeth) - Between the ages of 2-5 most of our facial growth and development takes place. Breastfeeding helps to bring the lower jaw forward, position the tongue correctly and expand the palate. Introduction of a bottle, pacifier, or digit during the early developmental phases can result in low tongue posture which causes the jaws to develop improperly. This improper development can lead to poor tooth positioning or crowding, loss of airway space, and swallowing difficulties. Jaw positioning issues like an overbite or underbite are indicators of a myofunctional issue.
I bet you didn't know that all of these issues can be caused by something as simple as proper muscular development, jaw placement and tongue positioning. It's true. There are so many links between myofunctional developmental issues and the every day health of our children. That is why the Munchee is an amazing thing!! To be able to correct these major issues in just 10 minutes a day with a device that children love using that cleans their teeth while they use it....
I think at this point, I should point out that I am not sponsored by Myo Munchee, I do not get kick back points for endorsing their product, I am just so excited by the results I have personally seen with this product that I wanted to share it with my readers! You don't have to take my word for it, here is an actual review from one of my patients:
"My son is six years old and I can count the number of times he has slept through the night on one hand. No matter what we tried he rarely slept without waking numerous times and when he slept in our bed he tossed and turned in restless sleep. He's had behavioral struggles since preschool and we have seen the doctor numerous times to see if there is some reason why he isn't sleeping. We have been using the Munchee for about a month and he has slept through the night almost every night since day four!! He seems more rested and we are starting to notice small improvements in his ability to regulate his emotional response. This is the game changer we've been looking for. It's so easy to work the Munchee into our busy life and the impact has been noticeable! I am so thankful for Tommie recognizing the signs and getting us started down this path!" - April T
With results like this you can see why I am so excited to share this information with you.
So I'm sure you're wondering how it works!
Using the Munchee daily improves the following:
Brushing - The design functions like a toothbrush helping to clean the mouth, oxygenate and create alkaline salvia
Strength - Increases jaw and mouth muscle strength
Breathing & Swallowing - by strengthening lips, tongue and facial muscles it promotes nasal breathing and healthy swallowing patterns
There are a number of Munchees for a number of things from pacifier replacement in infants to small sizes to promote proper development in toddler to early education age children, to teenage and adult sizes. The best thing to do if you think a Munchee is something you need in your life is schedule a consultation with me. I would love to talk with you to find out if myofunctional therapy is right for your child or you.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog, for more great articles on myofunctional therapy and dental health keep checking in on the blog!