Ways in which Jaws Exercisers help in Oral Motor therapy
Oral motor refers to the way we use the muscles inside our mouth. It includes all parts of our mouth such as tongue, lips, cheeks and jaw. Just like any muscle, the ones tied to our mouth can be strong, week, coordinated or uncoordinated. Oral motor skills help us perform activities such as talk, eat, or drink from a straw.
Possible signs of a child needing Oral Motor Exercises
If the child has any difficulty coordinating their oral motor skills or underlying weakness, he/she may need oral motor exercises. Here are some red flags that indicate oral motor skills needing some attention:
- Food falling out of mouth while trying to eat
- Difficulty in chewing
- Mashing food with tongue
- Sucking food instead of chewing
- Holding food in mouth for hours
- Mouth is often in an open position
- Tongue hangs out of mouth
- Difficulty in sticking tongue out
- Difficulty learning to eat table and finger foods as a baby and toddler
- Difficulty in drinking from a straw (if over 24 months)
While this isn’t a comprehensive list and doesn’t indicate oral motor problems, these are some of the things you need to watch out for in your child.
Jaw exercisers are a great way to boost oral motor therapy in differently abled children. While giving them oral motor therapy, occupational therapists might want to start on smaller grades and gradually move to jaw exercisers. Once the child completes all grades of Bite Blocks, they can start with Jaw Exercisers. Each kit of these contains two firm, reusable Jaw Exercisers which address jaw stability, facilitate symmetrical jaw strength, and work on jaw grading through movement to ensure standard speech and sound development. The ability to visually judge how far you need to open your mouth to take a bite out of a certain and any food is called Jaw Grading. For instance, saying ‘ooh’ versus ‘aahh’ helps you determine the height difference in your jaw.
All these help those who are in need of additional tactile input. Jaw Exercisers available here are made from FDA approved materials and can be easily cleaned for multiple-client use. You can find Jaw Exercisers here at Help Them Shine.