Mouth Models for Speech Therapy
Which one is right for you?
If you do articulation therapy, you need a mouth model! I have been an SLP for over a decade and I’ve been collecting mouth models since day one. Not only is it one of my most-used items in therapy, my mouth model looks fun displayed on a shelf and is an excellent conversation starter.
So which models are the best? How can you effectively use them in therapy? I’m here to share my collection and recommendations with you! I’ve got affiliate links to all the models I’ve purchased, so you can just click on the images at the end of this post to buy your own! You'll see a list with links at the bottom of the page.
I made a video about my mouth models in 2019, but since then I’ve actually purchased a few more and have new feelings about them so I wrote this post and plan on making an updated video as well.
A note about mouth puppets: I used to use the puppet-style mouths, but I don’t anymore. They are tricky to move and challenging to properly clean. I talked about them in my first video, but no longer use or recommend them. I have had more success teaching tongue placement with the other models I mention below.
For this post, I’m dividing my mouth collection into three categories: Giant Mouths, Smaller Mouths, and Budget-Friendly Mouths! I’ve also numbered them and you can click on the mouth images below to purchase them on Amazon.
GIANT MOUTH MODELS
After years of using puppets, I bought my first giant mouth model (Mouth #1) in 2016 and it was a game changer. This beauty is big, opens wide, and is great for teaching placement. I love the calm pink color and clearly defined alveolar ridge. You’ll see this one makes an appearance in most of my speech sound videos! This one is my most used for in-person therapy, and can be purchased here. It’s important to note that while I love this mouth, it does not come with a tongue! I wear a pink glove and use my hand as a tongue, so it’s not a big deal. But if you want a tongue, read on!
Giant Mouth Models With Tongues
Mouths #2 and #3 are similar in size to the first one I bought and they have tongues! They almost look like they could have been made with the same mold! The main difference is the coloring. Mouth #2 (Ultrassist) features a lighter colored tongue and brighter pink gums. Mouth #3 (Evotech) has lighter, bubble-gum pink gums and a darker tongue. Mouth #3 is a teeny tiny bit smaller, but it’s hardly noticeable. They both open and close smoothly, come with toothbrushes, and seem to be very high quality. The tongues come attached to the floor of the mouth with a single screw that can be easily removed. I used both of these during teletherapy sessions and the bright colors showed up well on the screen. The alveolar ridges aren’t as clearly defined, but can still be seen. These are both excellent choices
A while back, I got Mouth #4 (SMKF) - it was actually my first mouth model with a tongue! It was okay, but made an annoying creaking sound whenever I opened or closed it. While it was a great size and worked fine during sessions, I prefer the #2 and #3 models listed above because they are smooth and quiet. This one is still a fine model and I used it with success during many sessions, so if you don’t mind a little creaking - go for it!
Mouth #5 is the only giant mouth model I definitely do not recommend! It looks nice when you first take it out of the box, but it has issues. The tongue was sticky and the paint/wax on it got smudged on everything! The mouth model teeth were covered in smudges, my fingers got all stained and sticky.
SMALLER MOUTH MODELS
So far, I’ve only talked about giant mouth models! Let’s talk about smaller options!
Mouth #6 (Kouber Science) is 4x5x7 inches and comes with a tongue. It is great for using play-dough to make your own tongue, since the mouth is smaller and you only need one can of play-dough to get the job done. The bigger mouths require multiple cans to make a proportionate tongue. This one is high quality and I like it a lot. If you don’t mind not being able to stick your whole hand in the mouth, this might be a great option for you!
There is also Mouth #7 (DentalMall), which is even smaller. This one can sit in the palm of your hand. It was designed to teach children how to floss, so the teeth are spaced apart more than other models. It does not come with a tongue. If you use play-dough with this model, it is likely to get stuck between the teeth, but you can let your students floss it out with dental floss which might add a little extra fun to your session! You can turn the metal piece to tighten the mouth and hold it open in a position of your choosing. Mouth #7 also falls into the next category of budget friendly mouths!
BUDGET FRIENDLY MOUTHS
Don’t feel like spending much money on a mouth model right now? I totally understand! I’ve got some awesome, budget-friendly models that are all under $15. These mouths can be effective for teaching tongue placement and I have enjoyed each of them!
First up, Mouth #7 that I mentioned above was only $13 when I bought it!
Next we have this small plastic mouth model I snagged in the Target Dollar Spot a few years ago! We’ll label this one Mouth #8. It came as part of a little toy dentist kit. Sadly, I haven’t seen them at Target for a while. No worries, though, I found the kit on Amazon by a company called LBZE for $10. It comes with some little tools. There is no removable tongue (just a molded tongue on the bottom of the mouth) so I use play-dough as my tongue. To watch me teach the R sound using this very mouth model, check out my video here!
Last but not least, I present to you a Paper Mouth Model (Mouth #9)! Why would you want a paper mouth model? Well, it’s super inexpensive (only $5), you can download it immediately, make multiple copies for your students, draw on them, laminate them and use them with play-dough, and send them home for practice! If you do group therapy and want each child to have their own model during a session, the paper mouth model is a budget friendly way to achieve that. This paper model is already included in my book, I Can Say the R Sound. So if you own that book you already own this one!
I hope this post helps you find the perfect mouth model for your therapy room!