Dr. Ben Miraglia and Dr. Scott Siegel insist on including Oral Myofunctional Therapy as part of the expansion regimen. In fact, the Oral Myofunctional Therapist may be one of the most if not THE MOST important part of the collaborative team. I had the pleasure of collaborating with Brittny Sciarra who will be my guest blogger for this weeks chapter on my expansion journey. Welcome, Brittny!
Brittny Sciarra, RDH, BS, COM ®, QOM, is a dental hygienist of 9+ years, Certified Orofacial Myologist, and Buteyko Breathing Educator who lectures nationally to like minded health professionals on myofunctional airway health. Brittny received her degree from the Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene at MCPHS in 2011 and post graduate training in Myofunctional Therapy through the AOMT and IAOM in 2016-2017.
Importance of Pre and Post-op Myofunctional Therapy, by Brittny Sciarra
As a myofunctional therapist, I am constantly asked "How many sessions do you think I'll need?" or "What exercises do I need to do?" or "Why can't I just do exercises after my release?". I am here to answer ALL of that!
First and foremost, I would like to share my belief that myofunctional therapy is a terrific adjunct in a variety of treatment plans. It is a holistic therapy with no risks or side effects. Patients can only benefit. Before performing a comprehensive orofacial myofunctional exam, it is truly hard to pinpoint how many sessions one will need. However, we will have a better idea once we fully assess. That is always our first step.
Let's get back to what this post is about, release of tethered oral tissues and the importance of myofunctional therapy. It is only after a functional release of a tethered oral tissue which includes regular myofunctional therapy pre and post that optimal orofacial function can be achieved.
Myofunctional therapy prior to the release prepares the muscles for what's to come. Just because your tongue will have this new range of motion does not mean your tongue will automatically start functioning on full, or know what to do or where to go. The pre-therapy allows us to begin re-education of the muscles for the newly gained range of motion and to move functionally.
1. Active Wound Management
Active wound management reduces the risk of possible scarring. If sutures are not being placed, active wound management becomes even more essential. We must ensure proper healing by secondary intention.
2. Neuromuscular Re-education
The goals of myofunctional therapy include obtaining a proper oral rest posture which includes tongue resting in the roof of the mouth, lip competence, and exclusive nasal breathing, and optimal chewing and swallowing patterns.
Let me leave you with this. Would you skip out on physical therapy recommended to you after a different type of medical surgery? I am sure a majority of us would follow the instructions from our doctors. Why should this surgery be any different?
Lauren Gueits and Brittny Sciara- First Meeting
Our first meeting was an overview of why myofunctional therapy was needed, followed by my first session of exercises to help prepare me for my tongue-tie release. Another topic we touched upon was tele-health. Brittny can provide remote services for those in need of this service but do not have access to an orofacial myofunctional therapist n their area. Come join us and see for yourself by watching the YouTube video below:
Like any other types of exercises, if you want to build strength, you need to work out.
Take a look at our first session and our follow up exercises in the video below. I will definitely add my myofunctional exercises to my fitness routine! Thanks Brittny :)
Brittny and Dr. Scott Siegel have collaborated on many cases. Take a look at Brittny's podcast, "Eye Spy with My Myo Eye" featuring oral surgeon, Dr. Siegel below: