A Myomunchee is a chewing device that is designed to help breathing, sleeping and overall health. It is an active myofunctional chewing appliance that is used by many professions. Myomunchees are designed for ages 1-100 years old.
Below we have outlined a list of commonly asked questions.
What is it made from?
The Myomunchee is made from medical grade silicone.
Does it come in different sizes?
Yes, Dr. Kathy will fit the patient with the correct size munchee and give instructions on how to best use the appliance based on the patient's individual needs.
How long do they last?
The Myomunchee is designed to last about six months, depending on usage. Some children will bite through them sooner and some will be able to use theirs for a year or more.
How does it help breathing?
The Myomunchee helps strengthen the stomatognathic system (the area in and around the mouth and jaw) to eliminate open mouth breathing and encourage nasal breathing. Open mouth breathing is very stressful to the body and can be linked with increased stress response, ADD ADHD, asthma, allergies, chronic sinus infections, ear infections, bed-wetting, snoring, sleep disordered breathing, nightmares, and fatigue.
How does it help sleeping?
By strengthening the stomatognathic system, the Myomunchee helps encourage nasal breathing while awake and asleep. Nasal breathing gives us our most restful sleep, while open mouth breathing contributes to widespread inflammation. Sleep disordered breathing can start as early as birth.
How does it help allergies?
Our noses have filters, our mouths do not have filters. When we breathe through our nose, we filter out allergens while creating nitric oxide from nasal breathing. Nasal breath also warms and humidifies our air.
How does it help our overall health?
By breathing through our nose, our bodies create nitric oxide, which is essential for our health. Nitric Oxide is a vasodilator which means that it causes blood vessels to widen which increases blood flow thus oxygenating our bodies.
How does it help dental health?
The Myomunchee was originally called a chewing brush back in the late 1960's as it was invented by a dentist, Dr. Kevin Bourke. The soft prongs on the munchee stimulate the gums and can have a similar effect to a toothbrush- however it does not replace brushing (sorry kiddo's!). While using the Myomunchee, more saliva is produced which can help nullify the acid production in plaque. Due to the rate of flow of the saliva while using the Myomunchee, it can raise salivary Ph from 5.8 to 7.4 in under one minute!
Why should a young child use a Myomunchee?
The Myomunchee helps stimulate Cranial Nerves VII, IX, X, XII, which will help strengthen the lips and tongue and also encourage the correct suck/swallow pattern. When we only swallow with the front of our tongue, it encourages the intake of air with food and drink (including while nursing) which can contribute to reflux and a variety of other digestive disorders. The Myomunchee is also an important tool for training our tongue to stay on the roof of our mouth which then creates our dental arch, our sinuses and our airway.
Myomunchee's can be used as early as 9 months old and can be swapped out for the pacifier your baby may be using.
Why should adults and seniors use a munchee?
There have been studies that have shown a direct correlation of cognitive impairment with the loss of the mechanics of chewing. Dental health is critical for those with dementia, cardiovascular problems and other neurodegenerative diseases. The increased saliva production helps to make the saliva more alkaline which aids in periodontal health, even gingivitis and dry mouth. Folks with dentures can use a Myomunchee in a passive way.
What other types of conditions would benefit from a Myomunchee?
*Disclaimer: Many of these conditions require coordination with a team of different practitioners. The following are only a few examples of conditions that have historically responded well to having Chiropractic and the Myomunchee be a part of the team.*
Stimulation of the cranial nerves by proper chewing
Coordination of chewing muscles and swallowing mechanics
Can assist in proper dental hygiene
Can assist in sensory oral stimulation, motor function and swallow
Can help strengthen tongue to help with tongue thrust
Can assist in proper dental hygiene
Can help with chronic open mouth breathing
Can aid with tongue thrust and correct suck and swallow pattern.
Can aid in dental hygiene
Help encourage and train in nasal breathing which will help you or your child to bring more oxygen into their bodies and get them out of fight or flight
Chronic Sinus Infections/Allergies:
Filters the air that we breathe through nasal breathing.
The Myomunchee encourages the tongue up on the palate which is the bottom of our sinus cavity- this in turn can gently pump the sinuses, encouraging drainage.
What professions use the Myomunchee?
In addition to Chiropractors, Speech Language Pathologists, Oral Myofunctional Therapists, Dentists, Orthodontists, Physical Therapists, ENT's, Occupational Therapists.