How to use froggymouth ?
Prerequisite: diagnosis of atypical swallowing and mouth breathing
To use the device effectively, the practitioner must be able to detect atypical swallowing and mouth breathing.
Atypical swallowing is characterized by:
– dental arches not in contact
– lingual interposition
– contraction of the lip and chin muscles
These muscle contractions are the easiest to detect, especially when at rest. In order to study the patient’s automatic reflexes, it is important to carry out a visual examination before they sit in the chair, when they do not appear to be paying attention.
Checking the anatomy of the nasal passages is the best test, but Gudin’s test can also be used or, even better, Delaire’s aerophonoscope.
Gudin’s test, applying pressure to the nostrils, allows us to discover if this inability is chronic. The diagnosis is confirmed through careful study of the nasal passages which indicate parafunction.
I am also a firm believer in a simple test where you ask the child to breathe in very deeply. If mouth breathing is temporary, the child will attempt to inhale more air by dilating their nasal passages. On the contrary if mouth breathing is chronic, then the nose will narrow as a result of a pressure drop caused by forced inhalation.
When should you use the device ?
Treatment of the dysfunction should start as soon as possible after atypical swallowing has been diagnosed if the patient’s anatomical environment allows for it. If this is not stable, make sure the tongue can find the physiological reference points seen in normal occlusion.
Example of a non-anatomical environment: Major narrowing of the maxilla prevents the tongue from positioning comfortably against the palatal arch.
How to use froggymouth ?
What to Say, What to Do?
Choosing the right device size
Device size should be based on a comparison of the distance between the corners of the mouth, not the patient’s age. When placed between the lips, Froggymouth should not stretch the corners of the patient’s mouth, since this leads to proprioceptive information being sent in this zone, which is not desirable. If in doubt, the smallest Froggymouth tested on the patient should always be used. For more information, click here.
Placement of the Device
We recommend that you do not give patients too many instructions during placement of Froggymouth, except to tell them to sit in front of the television for 15 minutes so their attention is completely focused on the screen, with a horizontal gaze and tongue. They must absolutely not talk with the Froggymouth in place or remove it, even if just for a second.
To ensure patient cooperation, you should explain why they need to watch television: if they were reading or using a tablet, their head would be bent forward, which would make them drool. If a family has no access to a television (due to vacation abroad or not having one at home), you can recommend using a raised computer screen, to ensure the mouth remains horizontal.