Minette graduated from the University of California Riverside with a BS in Biological Sciences and began her career in the dental field as a Registered Dental Assistant in 2000. She worked in private practice for a few years until she became the Clinical Manager at The Las Vegas Institute and taught in the dental team program for nine years. In 2014, she decided to go to dental hygiene school and later graduated with high honors from the College of Southern Nevada’s Dental Hygiene Program. She is a member of Sigma Phi Alpha Dental Hygiene Honor Society and Alpha Phi Omega National Co-Ed Service Fraternity.
During her college
years, she earned several awards and scholarships including the
Asian American Award for Excellence in Academics and
Leadership, the Academic Excellence Award, and the Deborah
Groom Peterman Community Award. In 2018, she was given an
Exceptional Performance (XP) Award from Pacific Dental Services
and helped conduct multiple RDH study clubs. Minette has given
presentations on various topics for dental assistants and
hygienists, and was a panelist for the Western Society of
Periodontology’s Dental Hygiene Symposium in 2021. She has
served as President of the dental hygienists’ association for both
the local component and for the state of Nevada. Minette
continues to be a lifelong learner and is pursuing her certification
for Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy. Minette has always been a
strong advocate for giving back to her community. She has
volunteered for Remote Area Medical, Give Kids a Smile, and
recently was one of the few hygienists to finish training and
administered the Covid vaccine. She is an active member of her
church and consistently helps at her boys’ school. Minette enjoys
cooking, running, arts-n-crafts, shopping, and most importantly
spending time with her husband and two boys.
The orofacial complex consists of muscles of the head, face, jaw, and neck. These muscles work well in harmony and good health and function stem from optimal muscle patterns. Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy addresses the root cause of many systemic disorders, and it is the re- education and re-training of these muscles for ideal function.
An Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD) refers to the abnormal development of muscle patterns that may affect facial growth and development, breathing, speech, chewing, swallowing, dental development, orthodontic treatment stability, and more. OMDs develop when the body is consistently trying to function in an atypical manner.
Mouth breathing causes the mouth to be open constantly, low tongue position, retruded narrow jaws, inflammation of the oral tissues, vertical facial growth patterns, and forward head posture. Mouth breathing leads to poor blood oxygenation which is linked to several health problems such as hypertension, heart failure, stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and inadequate growth and development.
Abnormal development of the tongue or lip in which they are unable to freely move around therefore interfering with its proper function. Tongue/lip ties are tethered oral tissues that can potentially lead to problems with breathing, nursing, chewing, swallowing, and speech.
The ideal position of the tongue should rest in the roof of the mouth. A tongue thrust is a type of OMD where the tongue presses up against the teeth or in between them when swallowing. Improper tongue position can lead to poor occlusion and jaw and facial development.
Myofunctional therapy began in 1918 with the work of Dr. Alfred Rogers. However most healthcare providers never learned about it or trained in it as a part of their traditional education and learning. As modern healthcare is moving to a more collaborative approach between various fields, healthcare providers are learning and understanding the connection between oral and systemic health. The mouth is the open door for the whole body and oral health plays a huge role in overall health.
Myofuncational therapy is a series of exercises and behavior modification techniques that promote nasal breathing, proper tongue posture, and lip seal that can lead to improved breathing, chewing, and swallowing. The length of the myofunctional therapy program depends on age and the severity of dysfunction present.
Adults and children alike are ideal candidates for myofunctional therapy.
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