Since the 1980s the Department of Hygiene and Oral Health at the Showa University School of Dentistry has focused its research efforts on the development of feeding function and disorders. In addition, we have treated dysphagic children and dysphagic elderly using our feeding training program approach. The developmental course of the feeding function includes the following steps: 1) Suckle feeding and pre-feeding period; 2) Acquiring the ability to swallow with lips closed; 3) Acquiring the ability to take food with lips closed; 4) Acquiring the ability to push mashed food with the tongue and anterior hard palate; 5) Acquiring the ability to perform mastication; 6) Beginning self-feeding; 7) Beginning finger feeding; 8) Beginning using table ware
Ayano, R., et al. (2000). The development of normal feeding and swallowing: Showa University study of the feeding function, International Journal of Orofacial Myology, 26 (1), 24-29.