Working with Children Age 4+
Myofunctional therapy can help optimize your child's health by improving strength, coordination, and function of the facial muscles.
Here are some of the ways that myofunctional therapy can help to break the habit of thumb sucking:
It can help to improve the function of the tongue. When the tongue is in the correct position, it is less likely to wander towards the thumb.
It can help to create a new oral rest posture. This is a position where the lips are closed and the tongue rests on the roof of the mouth. This position can help to prevent the thumb from being placed in the mouth.
It can help to reduce the urge to suck. The therapist may teach the patient relaxation techniques or other strategies to help them resist the urge to suck their thumb.
In addition to these exercises, there are a number of other things that can be done to help a child stop thumb sucking. These include:
Positive reinforcement. Praise the child when they are not sucking their thumb. You can also use a reward system to motivate the child to stop thumb sucking.
Distraction. When the child starts to suck their thumb, distract them with something else, such as a toy or game.
Negative reinforcement. Some parents may choose to use negative reinforcement, such as putting a bitter-tasting substance on the child's thumb. However, it is important to note that this approach should only be used as a last resort and should be done under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
Myofunctional therapy for habit elimination is most effective when started at a young age. However, it can also be helpful for adults. The length of treatment varies depending on the severity of the oral habit and the patient's cooperation.