This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
Do Chew Toys Correct Oral Rest Position?
By Pam Marshalla
Q: Do you know if chewing tools are effective in correcting open mouth posture in a 2-year-old? Is there any research on this?
The question reveals that you are assuming too much one-to-one correspondence between methods of oral stimulation and results.
Chewy tools are designed to facilitate up-and-down jaw movements, and to increase the amount of time a client keeps his jaw in the “up” position. That is all they will do.
To assume that chewing on a chewy tool or toy automatically will establish correct oral rest position is too much extension of the idea. Oral rest posture entails far more than a simple analysis of jaw position. It also incorporates lip position, tongue position, head position, and status of the entire upper respiratory system. Therefore, a chewy tube, by itself, will not establish correct closed-mouth oral rest position any more than teaching a single vocabulary word will remediate a language deficit.