Oral Myofunctional Therapy (OMT)
Oral Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) is a tongue thrust correction process that will last about 2 to 3 months depending on the patient. The child with tongue thrust pushes his/her tongue forward against the front teeth or through the upper and lower teeth during a swallow. Some children also thrust their tongue forward during the production of certain sounds (s, z, l, d, t, n) during speech and/or during a rest position with the mouth and lips open. Almost all infants have a forward tongue thrust swallow and by the age of 6 most children automatically change to the “normal” swallowing pattern. However, some children do not. Various factors may influence this swallowing pattern. Some of these include thumb sucking, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, allergies, poor muscle control, and a high, narrow palate.
A forward tongue resting posture may contribute to dental problems, malformation of the jaw, or both. If your child has speech sound errors and/or a dental malocclusion (open or cross bite), correcting the tongue thrust should be helpful in the process of speech improvement and correction of the bite.