Upper Lip and Tongue Stretches
The day of the revision you should do one set of exercises that night and then starting the next day repeat the exercises 5x daily never allowing more than 6 hours between sets for 3 weeks. The fourth week you will taper off by dropping one set per day ie 4 sets then 3 sets then 2 then 1 till done.
Upper Lip Stretches
This is the easier of the 2 sites to stretch and if you are doing both lip and tongue, start with the lip. Place your finger under the lip and move it up as high as it will go, until you feel resistance. Then gently sweep from side to side for several seconds. Remember, the goal is to open the opposing surfaces of the lip and gum so they cannot stick together.
Under the Tongue Stretches
Insert both index fingers into the mouth and dive under the tongue and pick up the posterior part of the tongue and lift towards the roof of the baby’s mouth Visualize you are a fork lift tractor lifting the tongue.
- Once you are under the tongue, pick up the posterior part of the tongueas high as it will go towards the palate. Hold it there for 3 seconds, relax, and do it again. The goal is to completely unfold the diamond so that you can visualize the entire diamond. The fold of the diamond across the middle is the first place it will reattach.
- Place your finger in the middle of the diamond and do a gentle circular stretchfor several seconds to dilate or open up the diamond.
- Turn your finger sideways and do a rolling pin motion to try and keep the diamond as deep as possible. Start at the fold “center” of the diamond and move to either side of the diamond top and bottom to loosen up the muscles of the tongue and floor of the mouth.
It’s important to remember that you need to show your child that not everything that you are going to do to the mouth is associated with pain. Additionally, babies can have disorganized or weak sucking patterns that can benefit from exercises. The following exercises are simple and can be done to improve suck quality.
- Slowly rub the lower gum line from side to side and your baby’s tongue will follow your finger. This will help strengthen the lateral movements of the tongue.
- Let your child suck on your finger and do a tug-of-war, slowly trying to pull your finger out while they try to suck it back in. This strengthens the tongue itself. This can also be done with a pacifier.
- Let your child suck your finger and apply gentle pressure to the palate, and then roll your finger over and gently press down on the tongue and stroke the middle of the tongue.