Summary: The large majority of patients referred to orofacial myologists have been, and will continue to be, in the 10 to 15 year age range, primarily because this is the age when most individuals begin orthodontic treatment. As more pedodontists and general dentists have become aware of developing malocclusions, and the possible detrimental effects of tongue and lip-resting posture and tongue thrust swallowing, there has been an increase in the number of young children referred from a preventive point of view. Guidelines have been provided to enable the orofacial myologist to function as a member of a team in determining the best course of treatment for each child. There are certainly instances in whichmedical management, surgical intervention or orthodontic treatment are indicated. These recommendations should be made by the dental specialist, perhaps in consultation with the orofacial myologist. There are other instances in which therapy for tongue thrust or rest-posture therapy are indicated. With the young child, we can afford to take the more conservative approach - rest posture therapy - because there is sufficient time later to do additional therapy if needed. The overall goal is to create as normal an oral environment as possible so as to facilitate normal growth and development. Correcting the resting posture of the tongue and lips also improves the cosmetic appearance and enhances the opportunity for good occlusion.
Pierce, R. B. (1988). Treatment for the young child, International Journal of Orofacial Myology, 14 (1), 33-39.