Good oral rest position involves:

  • Tongue up on the palate
  • Lips closure
  • Nasal breathing
  • Slight space between the upper and lower teeth

According to new research, one way to evaluate an individual’s ability to nasal breathe is to have him or her breathe through the nose with the lips taped for 3 minutes. If the individual cannot tape the lips (as in the event of an adhesive sensitivity), this could alternatively be done by holding water in the mouth.

You might be surprised to learn that simply being able to breathe through your nose for three minutes is not enough to pass this test.

You must be able to breathe effortlessly and comfortably through the nose. You should not experience a sensation of difficulty breathing at any point – even after those 3 minutes. You should not gasp or feel the need to catch your breath. Also, you should not have an increase in heart rate.

If you’re using water, leakage can indicate weakness in the lips.

If you don’t pass this test, you’re probably compensating through mouth breathing, or you could be rapidly and/or shallowly nasal breathing.Inability to breathe comfortably through the nose can impact oral rest posture and a number of other oral functions, including chewing and swallowing patterns.

An orofacial myologist can help to evaluate one’s ability to nasal breathe, educate about nasal cleaning and clearing, and teach how to more effectively breathe through the nose. He/she can also recommend an ENT, if warranted.

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