Learning a correct swallow
When teaching a correct swallow, you can practice with drinking water from a glass. There is also a tool available to automate the correct swallow: the FroggyMouth.
Drinking from a glass
When teaching to swallow in the right way, you can practice the swallowing steps by letting the client drink water from a glass. If the tongue comes out immediately at the start of the sip or too large gulps are swallowed, you can use a syringe. Also if the client can not hold a sip of water with the tongue while the molars are not in occlusion, the syringe can be helpful. Ask the client to bring the tip of the tongue to ‘the spot’, behind the upper teeth (papilla incisiva). The molars are brought into occlusion and the lips are closed. Place the end of the dosing syringe in between the lips in the corner. Spray a small amount of water into the mouth, towards the molars. Let the client suck the water on the tongue. The client then lowers the lower jaw while the tongue is being placed against the palate and holds the water. Subsequently swallowing is done according to the swallowing steps described in the oro myofunctional protocol. No sound may be heard during the swallow moment. If a slurp is heard, this indicates the unwinding of the tongue is insufficient.
The FroggyMouth corrects the swallowing functions by teaching a new behavior pattern. With a FroggyMouth between the lips, the upper and lower teeth make light contact during swallowing and the tongue presses properly against the roof of the mouth (the tip of the tongue just behind the front upper teeth). The FroggyMouth is worn for 15 minutes a day while watching television. In that time the swallowing pattern changes, which eventually ensures that this also happens when the FroggyMouth is not worn. This requires at least three months.