Straw drinking can be a complicated task, as it requires coordination of the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw. Try drinking from a straw, paying attention to what your mouth is doing – your lips should be pursed and closed around the straw, the tongue tense and retracted, and the cheeks taut. Lip Blok® mouthpieces are a simple yet effective way to promote these oral motor skills. They also prevent individuals from biting the straw or putting it too far into their mouths.
Flexible Lip Bloks come in one length – ¾” however you can gradually trim these over time as you progress. This hierarchy slowly teaches individuals to put less and less of the straw into their mouths. When only ¼” is inside the mouth, fluid is deposited in the front of the mouth where it is easier to manage and less likely to cause coughing/aspiration. With shorter lengths, you also get a better oral motor workout, as the tongue retracts more, the lips seal better, and the cheeks have more tension.