What is Myofunctional therapy and the GOPEX program?
Oral myofunctional therapy is an exercise program designed to correct the proper function of the tongue and facial muscles used at rest and for swallowing. Oral function determines jaw development, chewing efficiency, sleep quality and breathing efficiency. Since these aspects are cornerstones of good health and optimal jaw development, it is important to focus on improving them, particularly when embarking on orthodontic treatment. Since some habits are hard to break, successful therapy results can only be achieved by fully participating in an exercise program that addresses both breathing and oral muscular function. Therapy success is achieved by consistent daily exercises until the patient has subconsciously corrected their improper muscle pattern. This requires constant commitment by the patient, parental support and time. Intensive treatment usually takes place over 3-6 months. Habituation occurs over the next for 6 months.
What is GOPEX?
In our office, we utilize the GOPEX program which teaches posture, breathing and myofunctional exercises.The GOPEX program (Good Oral Posture Exercises), is a regimen that can help guide children to acquire the habits that will foster excellent facial and jaw development. These good habits allow children to achieve their genetic potential, with large attractive jaws, healthy airways and a full set of teeth .
Human biology explains that pressure stimulates bone cells to grow. We know that astronauts that travel into space lose precious bone cells due to the lack of pressure from gravity. In the same way, when our muscles do not have good tone and are not exercised properly they will not exert the weight that bones need to maintain their optimal shape.
By understanding this principle we developed GOPEX to help our muscles through changing modern habits.
The development of GOPEX came from the realization that by utilizing daily activities like chewing and speaking, our brain could integrate changes that would result in regaining the critical muscle tone needed for correct growth.We use GOPEX to teach children how to rest properly. We know that rest is important, because we grow when we sleep, our grandmothers knew this!Because we cannot train children when they are sleeping, we train them while they are awake by promoting resting pauses throughout the day, using common activities such as eating (chewing) and talking (reading or counting).
GOPex focuses on facial posture, which has been largely ignored. A few generations ago good oral posture was practiced naturally in society. We observe that individuals living in traditional societies tend to have better overall posture than modern industrialized people.
PROPER SLEEP HABITS
We use GOPEX to teach children how to rest properly. We know that rest is important, because we grow when we sleep. There is enough research that shows that mouth-breathing will tax our bodies and make us more susceptible for chronic disease.
Through GOPEX you are able to change behavior to maximize health and longevity.