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Are the results of orofacial myofunctional therapy permanent?

For children and adults with orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs), the impacts can seriously affect their quality of life and their ability to thrive and prosper. People with OMDs might experience difficulty eating and drinking, poor posture, speech problems, and malocclusions (crooked teeth). Fortunately, OMDs are treatable.

Orofacial myofunctional therapy in Fort Atkinson is a powerful treatment for OMDs. It can eliminate symptoms and help people live healthier, richer, fuller lives. However, people often wonder whether the results they get from orofacial myofunctional therapy are permanent. The answer is a little complicated: yes and no.

Results Can Be Permanent with Maintenance

When it comes to the results of orofacial myofunctional therapy, it helps to think of orthodontics. The two approaches overlap in a lot of ways. Both can achieve permanent results. However, ensuring the results are permanent can sometimes require maintenance.

Both orthodontics and orofacial myofunctional therapy depend on the principle that the body is changeable. With the proper execution of forces, either by your muscles or by orthodontic appliances, the body can change. Unfortunately, if the body can change, it can also change back. There is no age limit on orthodontic treatment. Similarly, both positive and negative changes can occur at any time in your life, so we have to take steps to make sure your positive changes stay.

Most people are familiar with the concept of an orthodontic retainer. It’s an oral appliance you wear after orthodontic treatment to keep teeth from drifting. Everyone wears a retainer for a while after orthodontic treatment. People who want to ensure their teeth stay straight wear a retainer at least occasionally for the rest of their lives.

Orofacial myofunctional therapy is similar. However, because it relies mostly on exercises and habitual changes, the maintenance program can be different.

Some People Adopt New Habits Easily

OMDs occur in large part because of unhealthy habits related to swallowing, tongue resting position, and more. Our Fort Atkinson orofacial myofunctional therapists help you or your child learn new habits. This relies mostly on specific exercises.

For some people, going through the exercises over a period of time leads to building new habits. They adopt new habits, and that’s it. There’s no need for additional sessions or training. This is more likely to be true of children. Children can take to the new training readily, establishing new habits for a healthy life. With adults, it can be harder to unlearn bad habits. However, it is possible for adults to permanently change their breathing, chewing, and swallowing methods.

Some People Need Refreshers

Other people adopt the new habits but need periodic refreshers from our Fort Atkinson orofacial myofunctional therapists. They might need a new training session because they fall into old habits over time. However, they might also have an event that triggers the return of old habits.

Jaw trauma or injury, for example, might lead the body to compensate by changing how it chews, holds the tongue, or swallows. Stress-related clenching and grinding can change the habitual functions of your jaw muscles and their partners. In addition, it can reshape your teeth, and your body may adapt poorly to the new shape. Speaking of reshaping teeth, sometimes poorly fitted restorations like dental crowns can lead to changes in orofacial behaviors.

If you think you’re falling back into unhealthy habits, contact our Fort Atkinson orofacial myofunctional therapists for an evaluation and possible retreatment.

Doing Exercises Regularly Might Be Best for Many

Just as many people benefit from wearing their retainer for life, many people might benefit from doing their orofacial exercises regularly. It might not be daily, but weekly works well for a lot of people.

Keeping up with regular exercises can reinforce healthy habits, and it can also help your body adapt to changes in a healthy way.

When you have achieved your treatment goals, your Fort Atkinson orofacial myofunctional therapist will talk to you about your progress. They will help you evaluate your progress and recommend how regularly you should keep up your exercises to maintain your results.

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy in Fort Atkinson

If you are looking for relief from OMDs for yourself or your child, let BKS Dental help. Our Fort Atkinson therapists can help teach you or your child how to adopt healthier habits that improve breathing and jaw function leading to better eating, speech, posture, and overall health. For some children, orofacial myofunctional therapy can even head off the need for braces. This is an approach that can lead to improvement in or even, in some cases, a cure for snoring, sleep apnea, bite problems, and more.

To learn how orofacial myofunctional therapy can help you, please call (920) 563-7323 or use our online form today to schedule an appointment at BKS Dental in Fort Atkinson, across the street from Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts near Johnson Bank.

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