SLP developed exercises designed to support swallow rehabilitation [1] and oral motor speech therapy [2].

Based on existing treatments, four key exercises were developed by Speech Language Pathologists to safely stimulate and exercise parts of the oral cavity – specifically targeting lip closure, tongue strength, dorsal elevation, lateral movement, and bolus propulsion. Scroll to bottom of page for video.



EXERCISE 1: TONGUE PUSH UP

The tongue push up is intended to strengthen the tongue muscles. The tongue elevation motion supports the oral stage of swallowing by targeting the ability to capture and seal in a piece of food

1. Push up with your tongue to press the Abilex™ oral motor exerciser against the roof of your mouth

2. Hold for 3-5 seconds

3. Relax and repeat 5 times


EXERCISE 2: LIP PRESS AND PULL

Intended to strengthen and improve lip control for proper lip seal and coordination. 

1. Tightly press your lips around the tether of the Abilex™ oral motor exerciser

2. Keep the bulb inside your mouth by pressing your lips firmly together

3. Gently pull on the Abilex™ device handle for 3-5 seconds

4. Relax and repeat 5 times.


EXERCISE 3: TONGUE FRONT TO BACK

Designed to improve dorsal control which helps in forming a bolus and moving food to the back of the mouth. 

1. Push the bulb against the roof of your mouth with your
tongue

2. Creating a slight suction, move the bulb forward and backwards along the roof of your mouth 5 times using your tongue

3. Relax and repeat 5 times


EXERCISE 4: TONGUE SIDE TO SIDE

Designed to strengthen lateral (side-to-side) motion and coordination of  the tongue. In swallowing, this motion is used to gather and re-position food in the mouth in preparation for sending food to the back of the mouth to be swallowed

1. Move the bulb from the center to the left side of your mouth with your tongue and hold for 3-5 seconds

2. Relax and repeat 5 times

3. Perform the same action to the right side of your mouth with your tongue

4. Relax and repeat 5 times


Arrows moving in circle

Work towards 3 sets of each suggested exercise 3 times per day, or as directed by your health care provider.

Start all suggested exercises with the Abilex™ oral motor exerciser in your mouth with the bulb flat on the center of your tongue

Click here for a downloadable file with all of the exercises.

Download Exercises