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DIY Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy via a program and on your own sounds like a very convenient idea right? Well I think that price of convenience comes at a high cost. There are several pre-selected exercises programs out there. Many of my patients have tried these programs and remain dysfunctional. Here's why:

An in person evaluation is a must. I need to see and feel in three-dimensional and real time to complete a full assessment. If the evaluation is not correct, everything thereafter is flawed too! A therapy plan is only as accurate as the evaluation from which it was developed. Other referrals and treatments may be necessary as a precursor to success with an orofacial myofunctional therapy program. For example, to establish nasal breathing, the airway must be unobstructed. These pre-packaged programs do not account for these factors. Some of the pre-selected exercises are not indicated or appropriate for the patient. This results in lack of compliance due to possible frustration with exercises a patient is unable to do. There is no individualization or nuance for the patient's specific situation or needs with these programs. Patients learn in a variety of ways and a therapist varies the cues needed to be successful. In these programs, there is not specific feedback given. Patients completing exercises may be doing so incorrectly and further creating or exacerbating dysfunction by compensations developed.

In conclusion, these generic programs can be tempting in terms of convenience, I'd say to invest in the skilled expertise of an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist for the best outcomes.


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