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The all-in-one oral motor tool; **Click to see all 9 colors**|||ARK's Z-Vibe® is a vibratory oral motor tool that can help build oral tone and improve a variety of speech, feeding, and sensory skills. Use it to provide a varied sensory experience and/or to provide targeted tactile cues within the oral cavity. Its gentle vibration provides a new level of sensory stimulation to increase oral focus and draw more attention to the lips, tongue, cheeks, and jaw. Vibration can also be very calming, soothing, and organizing.
The Z-Vibe®'s sleek, innovative design features a lightweight, plastic handpiece with gentle bumps around its circumference for a non-slip grip. This texture can also be brushed along the cheeks, arms, hands, etc. for additional tactile input. The handle comes with a blue Probe Tip on one end and a Switch Tip on the other. Use the Probe Tip for oral motor assessment and development. To turn the unit on, simply twist the Switch Tip at the opposite end of the handle just until the unit starts to vibrate (please do not over-tighten).
Designed with versatility in mind, there are over 35 tip attachments available in various sizes, textures, and resiliencies. From spoons to toothbrushes to pencils and more, the same handle can shift goals simply by switching out one tip for another. View them all here.
Caution: the Z-Vibe is NOT a toy. It is a therapeutic tool intended to be used by a professional therapist (or by parents trained by their therapist). It contains small parts (including a battery) that may pose a choking hazard: direct adult supervision is required at all times.
|Why It Works|
Most of us are either visual or auditory learners. But when these two senses are not enough, you may need to physically direct the articulators for certain speech and feeding skills. ARK's Z-Vibe® is an ideal tool to help you do so. Therapists (and trained caregivers) can use it to provide targeted tactile cues within the oral cavity to teach tongue elevation, tongue lateralization, lip closure, rotary chewing, and much more. For example, use the Z-Vibe® to apply gentle pressure to the alveolar ridge (just behind the upper front teeth). Then remove the Z-Vibe® and instruct the individual to touch the same spot with his/her tongue tip. You can also follow up by prompting the individual to say the tongue tip sounds /t/d/n/l/.
When just touching the lips, tongue, cheeks, etc. doesn’t provide enough input, simply turn the Z-Vibe® on. Its gentle vibration provides a new level of tactile awareness for additional sensory feedback, to help "wake up" the mouth, and to draw more acute attention to specific movements of the cheek, jaw, lips, and tongue.
Please note that by no means does an individual have to use vibration to acquire skills for feeding and articulation. Some people simply do not like vibration - and that's ok! Even without vibration, the Z-Vibe® can still provide a vast range of sensory stimulation.
Increase Oral Awareness:
Decrease Oral Sensitivities and Food/Texture Aversions:
Calm and Soothe:
Transition from Puréed to Textured Foods:
Teach Biting and Chewing Skills:
Develop Oral Motor Skills:
Improve Oral Hygiene:
Work on Writing Skills:
Below is an example of how to use the Z-Vibe to work on tongue elevation and lateralization. For more information on how to use the Z-Vibe, exercise ideas, and more, check out the Tips & Techniques for the Z-Vibe book and/or ARK University.
Who manufactures the Z-Vibe®?
Are the materials safe?
Why does it require a special battery?
Who can benefit from the Z-Vibe®?
Is vibration right for everyone?
I am a parent/caregiver. Can I use the Z-Vibe® at home?
Can my child use the Z-Vibe® on his own?
ARK chew tools come in 3 color-coded toughness levels:
Usually we recommend going with the softest/standard level by default. Unless someone chews through or causes damage to anything else they chew on (chews through pencils, chews holes in shirts, etc.), in which case the XT level would be longer lasting.
If someone does chew through things, it’s possible they may need the toughest XXT level eventually. XXT is super firm, though, so we don't always recommend getting it right off the bat (some people find it uncomfortable chewing on something that firm).
So XXT is usually best either for people who have chewed through the XT level already, and/or for anyone who already likes chewing on very hard items - things like legos, hard plastic toys, wooden items, etc.
Heads up: Designs that are wider and "beefier" will feel tougher than designs that are more slender in the same toughness level. For example, the Dino-Bite in XT will feel tougher than the Krypto-Bite in XT.×
Probe Tip - This is the most versatile & popular tip attachment. It's bumpy on one side and striated on the other side for different levels of sensory input (the bumpy side provides more input than the striated side).
Mini Tip - This is a smaller version of the Probe Tip, designed for smaller mouths (about 2.5 years and under). This age recommendation is not a hard-and-fast rule though - we've seen younger kids use the Probe Tip and older individuals use the Mini Tip.
Preefer Tip - This tip attachment is rounded with ridges all along the circumference for when a "rolling" action is desired for a different kind of sensory input. Roll it over the lips, across the tongue, and inside the cheeks.
Fine Tip - This tip narrows down to a fine point, which makes it perfect for pinpointing very specific areas in the mouth.
Bite-n-Chew Tip - These tips are rounded and chewable, for practicing biting & chewing skills. The "extra long" versions are about an inch longer and a little skinnier, to make it easier to reach the back molars. The textured version has bumps for extra sensory input.
Bite Tube Tip - These tips are similar to the Bite-n-Chew Tip, but with a hollow center so that you can put puréed foods (applesauce, yogurt, etc.) inside the tip for functional biting & chewing practice. Once you bite down on the tip, you get 'rewarded' with a taste of food.
Spoon Tip - Great for feeding therapy and mealtimes, these attachments turn the Z-Vibe into a vibrating spoon! The smooth, gentle vibration can help "wake up" the mouth and decrease aversions. The textured version has bumps on the bottom of the spoon bowl to help stimulate the tongue and lower lip, and to help encourage the transition from puréed to more solid foods. The hard Spoon Tip is rigid, like a regular spoon. The soft Spoon Tip is flexible (still firm enough to hold food, but flexible enough to be gentle on the teeth if someone bites down on the spoon.
Tongue Tip - This tip can be used as a traditional tongue scraper to help establish good oral care. It can also be used to help establish the concept of tongue lateralization and elevation (hold the Tongue Tip vertically in front of the mouth and ask the individual to put the tip of their tongue inside the hole, then guide the tongue from side to side or up and down). You can also place the Tongue Tip flat on top of the tongue to provide input to a large surface area of the tongue (this tip has the largest "footprint" surface-area-wise).
Popette Tip - This tip attachment is an adaptor that lets you use lollipops with the Z-Vibe. Just twist the Popette Tip into the Z-Vibe handle, then press a lollipop into the Popette Tip. Lollipops are a fun way to get kids interested in sensory oral motor exercises.
Brush Tips - The soft version has gentle bristles for gum massage; the hard version has firmer bristles closer to that of a traditional toothbrush. These can be used to help get orally sensitive individuals more comfortable with oral care, so that they can eventually use regular toothbrushes, be more comfortable going to the dentist, etc.
Pencil - This attachment turns your Z-Vibe into a vibrating pencil! The vibration of the Z-Vibe is very smooth, so it doesn't create squiggly lines. Instead, it can help increase focus by providing more sensory input and awareness to the hand.
Pen - This attachment turns your Z-Vibe into a vibrating pen.
Crayon - And this attachment turns your Z-Vibe into a vibrating crayon.
Brick Tip - This tip attachment has large bumps on one side and small bumps on the other side for lots of varying sensory input while biting & chewing. It comes in 3 toughness levels for mild to moderate to avid chewing.×