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. Teething Bling, The SPD Shop, Munchables & InYard Products are very great tools that are very beneficial.


 Take some applesauce or thick fluid and have your child suck it through a straw

 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



 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






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 



 The Oral Motor Workout comes with all of the basic tools you may need to start an oral motor treatment plan, plus two books with detailed exercises on how to use them. Chapter topics include: oral awareness, jaw grading and stability, lip closure, lip movement, tongue and jaw dissociation, tongue lateralization, tongue elevation, tongue bowl, biting and chewing, rhythmic chewing, transitioning from puréed to textured foods, articulation, oral hygiene, and more. The tools provided will allow you to complete the majority of the exercises contained in the books. Use the Therapy Practice Pad to keep track of which exercises you're working on and the progress over time. Kit includes: 1 Z-Vibe® (Lavender), 1 Preefer Tip, 1 Mini Tip, 1 Popette Tip, 1 Soft Fine Tip, 1 Textured Bite-n-Chew Tip XL, 1 Bite-n-Chew Tip XL, 1 Bite-n-Chew Tip (Unscented), 1 Bite-n-Chew Tip (Berry Scented), 1 Bite-n-Chew Tip (Citrus Scented), 1 Grabber, 1 Textured Grabber, 1 Grape Scented Grabber XT, 1 Pen, 1 Therapy Practice Pad, 1 Tips & Techniques for the Z-Vibe® book, and 1 Tips & Techniques for the Grabber® Family book. Tools made in the USA out of medical grade, FDA compliant materials that contain NO lead, phthalates, PVC, BPA, or latex. Caution: these therapeutic tools should be used under adult supervision at all times. When changing tips and/or the battery, please use caution as the unit contains small parts that pose a choking hazard.




 Chew Stixx Pencil Toppers defeat destructive oral motor grinding, lessen anxiety, improve attention/concentration, and are excellent for use in therapy or school. If your child bites, chews, or grinds, give them something safe to chew on. The Chew Stixx Pencil Topper fits on any number 2 pencil, decreases lead exposure, is safe for teeth, is socially acceptable, and is allowed in classrooms. The toppers also increase attention, lower anxiety levels, and have been proven to improve concentration skills in children constantly seeking sensory input. Excellent for streamline and special needs children. Package includes one smooth and one knobby surfaced topper. Use of this product should be supervised by an adult at all times. Not for use with children under 3 years of age. Pencils not included. Sold As A Pair of 2 Elementary-Middle School Grade Level Category: Special Needs / Sensory Solutions / Oral Motor Designed for students with special education needs Short Name: Pencil Topper 1 Smooth 1 Textured - Pair Of 2 Oral Products




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