725 S 51st. West Des Moines, IA 50265 ?(515) 224 1618

Kids and their new MyoMunchee

You’ve identified nonideal growth of your child’s craniofacial complex, you got a Myomunchee to take steps to improve it…..but how do you get them to do it and to do it properly?

Bravo for taking the first important step!! 

Now, let me help with the biggest hurdle: getting them to use it and to use it well. I have found with young kids (mine are 9 and 12 as I type this, so I’ve been in the trenches) that “Monkey See, Monkey Do” is very helpful. For this very reason, I captured a video of my youngest, Max, using his Myomunchee a few years ago. Please use and share this video as freely and as often as you find helpful. Max doesn’t mind 😉

The goal is to simply get it into a routine.
✔️ Focused chewing for 5 minutes.
✔️ Ideally once or twice a day.
✔️ Just up and down chewing. No lateral chewing- it will break down the silicone faster.
✔️ Lips need to remain closed around it for proper myofunctional forces.

Don’t expect 5 minutes at a time straight out of the gate, as most kids who have nonideal craniofacial growth have low tone of the orofacial muscles. Just like going to the gym for the first time after an extended period away, you need to ease into it. Start with a minute of focused chewing each time. Work your way up to 5 minutes, and celebrate each progression on the way there!

Kids with a dysfunctional swallow (reverse swallow with tongue thrust) will likely want to take it out to swallow at first, as the device makes improper swallowing difficult and thus promotes a proper swallow. Give them encouragement to keep working and to continue trying to swallow with it in. If they turn their focus to keeping their tongue resting up in the roof of their mouth throughout the day, this will help make the transition to a more appropriate swallow. Let Max show you what it looks like to get the tongue fully up in the palate.

Using the Myomunchee is an excellent way to combat the low oral muscle tone and function that accompanies a modern soft diet. It is also a helpful tool to combat the craniofacial developmental deficits brought on by habits of prolonged pacifier use or thumb sucking.

The handle on the device can be an additional help to improve low tone of the orbicularis oris muscle around the lips in kids with a history of habitual open mouth posture- just have your child keep their lips closed around it with resistance while you pull out on the handle.

If you have not yet purchased a Myomunchee, I’m happy to recommend the appropriate size at your child’s next visit. Not a patient? No problem. A good rule of thumb is that kids 2 to 5 would be a size “Mini”. Kids 6 to 11, a size “Junior”. Over that, a size “Tween”. My rule of thumb is what I find works best for my patients, but you wouldn’t be wrong to use the website sizing guide if you prefer. In the video, Max had just turned 6 years old and a size Mini was still perfect for him. There is also an additional tiny size “Bebe” for 6 to 18 months (an excellent combat to prolonged pacifier use), but at the time that I write this, these are only available through a practitioner. We have them at our office.

I hope that this has been helpful! Cheers to Max for providing our visual aids!!

~Dr. Mindy

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