Sensory Oral Motor

What is oral motor?

"Oral motor development refers to the use and function of the lips, tongue, jaw, teeth, and the hard and soft palates. The movement and coordination of these structures is very important in speech production, safe swallowing, and consuming various food textures."

You can have either hypo-sensitive or hyper-sensitive oral motor. 

Signs that a child is hyper-sensitive typically include dislike of brushing teeth, having their faces wiped, and are usually very picky eaters especially with specific textures. They are usually very particular about being neat and not enjoying messy play or eating.  They also may prefer a very specific type of cup/nipple for a bottle and not able to use other brands. 


Signs that a child is hypo-sensitive may include eating/licking everything. They may always have the tendency to have something in their mouths including non food items.  They usually tend to overstuff their mouths with food and very messy eaters.  They may like very crunchy foods and foods with a strong flavor such as spicy foods, very sweet/sour foods such as lemons, and very salty foods.  They may be nail biters or chew on clothing.

Drooling is the flow of saliva outside the mouth.  It’s often a result of weak or underdeveloped muscles around your mouth or having too much saliva.


Oral motor exercises help the muscles in the mouth and face for speech, eating, and saliva control.  Here are some things you can do with your child just for fun, and target better oral motor control at the same time.

Using chew sticks or necklaces may help with both sensitivities.  For those that are hyper-sensitive, it may help to introduce different textures to help stimulate their hard and soft palates.  For those that are hypo-sensitive it may help stimulate the palates so they do not chew on clothing, etc and give that sensation that their body is craving. 



Blowing toys such as blowing bubbles, whistles and balloons



ARK's Oral Motor Starter Kit with Z-Vibe's smooth, gentle vibration helps "wake up" the mouth and increase oral awareness. It includes  4 different tips with various textures for tactile stimulation, and 2 chew tools of different resiliencies (one soft and one extra tough

Oral motor cards and games. This helps children master lip, tongue and jaw exercises at home or school. 

Super Duper Publications Can Do Oral-Motor Fun Deck Flash Cards Educational Learning Resource for Children
52 over-sized cards (3" x 5") - perfect for small hands
Each colorfully, illustrated card has a fun oral-motor exercise with instructions
Educational - Helps children master lip, tongue and jaw exercises at home or school

Mighty Mouth Oral-Motor Board Game - Super Duper Educational Learning Toy for Kids
34 illustrated, mouth exercise cards (2 1/2" x 3 1/2") - 17 card pairs each depict an oral-motor activity
Large, colorful game board (16" x 16") and six pawns (assorted colors)
Includes thorough Instructor’s Manual with game ideas and four hand mirrors to teach the exercises. 




 TalkTools Vibrator & Toothettes® This is an excellent tool for diagnosing sensory-motor deficits, promoting awareness of the oral cavity, and reducing "fixing". It is also valuable for addressing oral sensitivity. Includes 20 Toothettes® and full instructions



Play a funny face making game with a mirror.  Make silly faces in the mirror while you are brushing your child’s teeth at night and try to get your child to imitate



Use vibrating toys around the face and mouth.  Use a vibrating toothbrush or vibrating toy for their mouths and move it around their entire mouth. These stimulate the muscles, and promote more musculature awareness.
ARK's Z-Vibe Sensory Oral Motor Kit - ultimate kit with most popular tips, exercise book, and storage case
Buy together and save!
Everything you need in one easy-to-manage kit. Tips & Z-Vibe can be easily stored in the travel box
Kit includes: 1 Royal Blue Z-Vibe handle, 1 Tips & Techniques for the Z-Vibe Exercise Book, 1 Probe Tip, 1 Preefer Tip, 1 Mini Tip, 1 Fine Tip, 1 Hard Spoon Tip, 1 Soft Spoon Tip, 1 Hard Brush Tip, 1 Soft Brush Tip, 1 Bite-n-Chew Tip, and 1 Textured Bite-n-Chew Tip XL
Book contains tips, techniques, exercises, & strategies on how to use the Z-Vibe for feeding, oral motor, sensory input, and more

Nuk Brush
Wonderful tools for oral motor stimulation and desenzitation
Offers valuable sensory input
Provides calming benefits for a sensory diet.

ARK's Z-Vibe Oral Stimulator for Speech & Feeding
Smooth, gentle vibration helps "wake up" the mouth and increase oral awareness
Textured Probe Tip provides tactile input to help decrease food aversions and normalize sensitivities
Sleek, lightweight, textured handle,
Specially designed to provide targeted tactile cues and sensory stimulation within and around the oral cavity
Highly recommended for individuals with speech, feeding, and/or sensory integration issues

ARK's 10-Tip Set for the Z-Vibe
The 10 most popular tips for the Z-Vibe (Z-Vibe sold separately)
Set includes: 1 Probe Tip, 1 Preefer Tip, 1 Mini Tip, 1 Hard Fine Tip, 1 Bite-n-Chew Tip, 1 Textured Bite-n-Chew Tip XL, 1 Hard Spoon Tip, 1 Soft Spoon Tip, 1 Hard Brush Tip, & 1 Soft Brush Tip
Tips have various textures to help normalize sensitivities and decrease texture aversions
Great for sensory stimulation, oral motor exercises, and targeted tactile input

Have your child smile, don't smile, then a frown and repeat  


ARK's Ultra Bear Bottle Kit - Comes with a special valve that keeps fluid at the top of the straw, which means less effort is required to take a sip - perfect for beginners or kids with oral motor difficulties / a weak suck. Also comes with a Lip Blok to prevent biting the straw or putting it too far back in the mouth. The lip Blok also naturally exercises the mouth muscles for an oral motor workout. You can also squeeze the friendly bear's belly to assist drinking. For individuals who tend to take too much fluid at a time, the Select-Flow Valve also slows the flow of fluid, allowing for smaller, more manageable sips that lower the risk of coughing/choking. 



Have your child practice saying "oooo" and then "eeeee" then combine the two movements 



Sensory Oral Motor Books