The Myo Munchee is a chewable appliance that allows practitioners and families to achieve a variety of outcomes.
Different practitioners will prescribe the Munchee for a number of reasons depending on what they do and why. Parents looking for proactive and cost effective help with their children's dental, speech and oral function needs often include the Munchee as part of their regime.
The following details how the Munchee can help a number of conditions people may be seeking help for:
Crooked bite or as it's technically called "malocclusion" is a growing issue in the modern world. The reasons for this are varied and complex (see research) and the treatments are also multifaceted and complex. The Myo Munchee however keeps it pretty simple. The Myo Munchee simply assists some of the natural mechanisms that help teeth grow in alignment. Continued over the long term, chewing on the Myo Munchee has been shown to widen the jaws creating more space for teeth and helping to improve the way teeth sit in the mouth.
The most common causes of a malocclusion can include things like thumb and dummy sucking. The problem with this is the muscles used to do the sucking have a negative effect on the growing bones. The constant sucking pulls the upper jaw in and protrudes the teeth forward, resulting in teeth crowding where often, the teeth don't fit together and the tongue pokes out through the space created at the front of the teeth. This is known as "anterior open bite" with or without a "tongue thrust". The Myo Munchee can really help to correct this as it helps the muscle function get back on track and thus assists with growth and treatment of these kind of crooked bites.
For a detailed explanation on bite and the Myo Munchee by Dr Mary Bourke, click here
The Myo Munchee can help with chewing and sucking habits. These habits are not only irritating to parents, they are not good for the development of the child particularly the jaws, teeth and the bones that make up the skull. If you have a child that sucks their thumb, simply compare their two thumbs to notice how force changes the structure of bone. The "sucking thumb" will be flatter and often longer than the side that is not being sucked. Now imagine how the same action effects the bones that make up the jaw!
There are a number of complex emotional and physical reasons for some of these suck habits so it is important to go gently with children when trying to transition out of them. The Myo Munchee is a perfect solution to help children drop the sucking and chewing habit as it utilises the same muscles and similar muscle actions to these noxious habits, the difference being the Myo Munchee will promote healthy teeth, gums and jaws rather than detract from them.
Thumb, finger and/or hair sucking:
Speech issues often go hand in hand with the points above. While the Myo Munchee is not specifically designed as a speech therapy tool, the affect it has on the muscles of the lips, tongue and face can carry over to speech due to the direct improvement in function of these muscles. For more detailed information see the research section, or for practitioners, check our practitioner information page.
One of the first purposes of the Myo Munchee was to treat gum disease. The theory behind the mechanisms of improved gum health through use of the Myo Munchee related to the pronged design and the chewing action producing an alkaline saliva that is protective of teeth and gums. Dr Kevin wrote a detailed paper on this which can be read here. In a nutshell though, the action of chewing and the prongs pressing into the gums functions like a brush, sweeping and cleaning the teeth and gums, helping to oxygenate the tissue and flushing them with protective saliva.
Parents are often surprised to hear the Myo Munchee can help with ear infections as it can seem like the appliance is all about the teeth and jaws. Technically this is true, however the anatomy of chewing has a lot to do with the anatomy and drainage of the ears. Ever noticed how yawning, swallowing or moving your jaw can have an almost instant effect on a blocked ear or while ascending and descending on a plane? This is because the two structures are very close in proximity and the health of each affects the other. Without going into the mechanics of it all, it's about pressure in tubes and movement of the fluid through them plus the action of the swallowing muscles pulling down on the tubes.
The action of the Myo Munchee helps create a negative pressure inside the eustachian tubes in the ear which assists the drainage and helps correct reverse swallow patterns that stop the correct function of the swallowing muscles. Continued use of the Myo Munchee (often coupled with some changes in diet) means these tubes can drain more regularly and helps keep them healthy. For more detailed information download an article by Dr Mary Bourke here