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[Dysphagia] oral-motor (NUK Massage Brushes)



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I've just been catching up a bit on my e-mail and wanted to respond to one=20
aspect of Stephanie's question about oral-motor exercises.

The greatest concern that I have is the fact that her therapist recommended=20
that her son bite down on the NUK Massage brush as one of these oral-motor=20
exercises.    The NUK brush can be a wonderful tool for stimulating better=20
tongue movement in feeding.   I often use it as a first spoon because it=20
holds a very small amount of food and provides a textured stimulation that=20
often increases cupping of the tongue and greater activity of the intrinsic=20
muscles.    However, I want to stress to this group that the NUK brush shoul=
d=20
never be used for biting or chewing.   This is one of the few times that I=20
emphasize "NEVER".   Every bit of information that is enclosed with the=20
product from the company and in the New Visions Mealtimes catalog emphasizes=
=20
that this is not safe.    The NUK massage brush is designed for infants and=20
young children who do not have teeth.   It's purpose for young infants is as=
=20
a tool for gently stimulating the gums in preparation for eventual brushing=20
of the teeth.    The brush is a 2-piece construction.   The nubby "brush"=20
portion will come off of the handle when children with teeth do a lot of=20
biting practice with it.    The end of the handle (under the brush is=20
pointed).   Kids could choke if the piece comes off in the mouth and could=20
also injure oral tissues with the sharp end of the brush.   This doesn't=20
happen often because the brushes are pretty sturdy.   However, this isnot an=
=20
area where we want to compromise safety.   This information has been given t=
o=20
therapists in many ways, but many continue to use it and recommend it to=20
parents for biting practice.   There are even therapists teaching workshops=20
who recommend that this tool be used to teach children to bite and chew.   =20=
=20
So, if any of you on this list are using the NUK brushes, please use them=20
appropriately and caution parents about giving them to their children to use=
=20
without supervision.

The NUK Massage brush is also used very invasively by many therapists.=20
Parents are taught to go into the mouth rather forcefully and without the=20
child's permission to "desensitize the mouth".   A colleague of mine comment=
s=20
that therapists often "Nuke" kids!    If you use this tool, please be=20
respectful and introduce it in an interactive way. . .and always, always ask=
=20
the child for permission first.

Suzanne Evans Morris
New Visions
www.new-vis.com


In a message dated 2/3/03 4:57:17 PM, steph.jacob@verizon.net writes:

> I have a question that I've been meaning to ask for awhile.=A0 Our new spe=
ech
> pathologist is wanting us to do some exercises with Brigham and I'm curiou=
s
> to know if they fall under the category of unhelpful oral motor exercises.
> The reason I ask is because I don't want to do them if they aren't helping
> with anything.=A0 The first exercise is to have him bite down on a NUK bru=
sh.
>=20


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<HTML><FONT FACE=3Darial,helvetica><FONT COLOR=3D"#000000" FACE=3D"Geneva" F=
AMILY=3D"SANSSERIF" SIZE=3D"2">I've just been catching up a bit on my e-mail=
 and wanted to respond to one aspect of Stephanie's question about oral-moto=
r exercises.<BR>
<BR>
The greatest concern that I have is the fact that her therapist recommended=20=
that her son bite down on the NUK Massage brush as one of these oral-motor e=
xercises.&nbsp;&nbsp;  The NUK brush can be a wonderful tool for stimulating=
 better tongue movement in feeding.&nbsp;  I often use it as a first spoon b=
ecause it holds a very small amount of food and provides a textured stimulat=
ion that often increases cupping of the tongue and greater activity of the i=
ntrinsic muscles.&nbsp;&nbsp;  However, I want to stress to this group that=20=
the NUK brush should never be used for biting or chewing.&nbsp;  This is one=
 of the few times that I emphasize "NEVER".&nbsp;  Every bit of information=20=
that is enclosed with the product from the company and in the New Visions Me=
altimes catalog emphasizes that this is not safe. &nbsp;  The NUK massage br=
ush is designed for infants and young children who do not have teeth.&nbsp;=20=
 It's purpose for young infants is as a tool for gently stimulating the gums=
 in preparation for eventual brushing of the teeth. &nbsp;  The brush is a 2=
-piece construction.&nbsp;  The nubby "brush" portion will come off of the h=
andle when children with teeth do a lot of biting practice with it.&nbsp;&nb=
sp;  The end of the handle (under the brush is pointed).&nbsp;  Kids could c=
hoke if the piece comes off in the mouth and could also injure oral tissues=20=
with the sharp end of the brush.&nbsp;  This doesn't happen often because th=
e brushes are pretty sturdy.&nbsp;  However, this isnot an area where we wan=
t to compromise safety.&nbsp;  This information has been given to therapists=
 in many ways, but many continue to use it and recommend it to parents for b=
iting practice.&nbsp;  There are even therapists teaching workshops who reco=
mmend that this tool be used to teach children to bite and chew.&nbsp;&nbsp;=
&nbsp;  So, if any of you on this list are using the NUK brushes, please use=
 them appropriately and caution parents about giving them to their children=20=
to use without supervision.<BR>
<BR>
The NUK Massage brush is also used very invasively by many therapists. Paren=
ts are taught to go into the mouth rather forcefully and without the child's=
 permission to "desensitize the mouth".&nbsp;  A colleague of mine comments=20=
that therapists often "Nuke" kids!&nbsp;&nbsp;  If you use this tool, please=
 be respectful and introduce it in an interactive way. . .and always, always=
 ask the child for permission first.<BR>
<BR>
Suzanne Evans Morris<BR>
New Visions<BR>
www.new-vis.com<BR>
<BR>
<BR>
In a message dated 2/3/03 4:57:17 PM, steph.jacob@verizon.net writes:<BR>
<BR>
<BLOCKQUOTE CITE STYLE=3D"BORDER-LEFT: #0000ff 2px solid; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px;=20=
MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px" TYPE=3D"CITE"></FONT><FONT COLOR=3D"#0=
00000" FACE=3D"Geneva" FAMILY=3D"SANSSERIF" SIZE=3D"2">I have a question tha=
t I've been meaning to ask for awhile.=A0 Our new speech<BR>
pathologist is wanting us to do some exercises with Brigham and I'm curious<=
BR>
to know if they fall under the category of unhelpful oral motor exercises.<B=
R>
The reason I ask is because I don't want to do them if they aren't helping<B=
R>
with anything.=A0 The first exercise is to have him bite down on a NUK brush=
.<BR>
</BLOCKQUOTE></FONT><FONT COLOR=3D"#000000" FACE=3D"Geneva" FAMILY=3D"SANSSE=
RIF" SIZE=3D"2"><BR>
<BR>
</FONT><FONT COLOR=3D"#000000" FACE=3D"Geneva" FAMILY=3D"SANSSERIF" SIZE=3D"=
2"></FONT></HTML>
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