Myofunctional Orthodontics is a more comprehensive way of addressing crooked teeth. This way of treatment is different from traditional orthodontics in that it attempts to treat both the form—what the teeth look like, and the function—how the face works to get a healthy functioning mouth and face.
Not sure what myfunctional orthodontics even means? Here’s some of what we can do for you.
Early Intervention Ortho
Early intervention orthodontic treatment is considered when a child who has mainly primary (baby) teeth and is already showing signs of crowded teeth, narrow mouth, or sleep breathing difficulties.
Adult orthodontic treatment is considered when a patient is not content with the alignment of their teeth or is struggling with regular oral hygiene practices. A healthy mouth can aid in the start of a healthy body! Options for adult ortho can vary depending on the type of malalignment that is being addressed, some of those options include expanders, invisalign, braces, or a combination of these.
Breathing is the #1 goal in life, and expansion of the mouth is an important part in helping people breathe and function better. Expansion techniques are person dependent. We use a multitude of different expansion techniques from Crozat and ALF Appliances and removable appliances, to MSE and implant assisted appliances, to simple braces or even Invisalign.
Brackets, also known as braces, are the most common way to correct misalignment of teeth; they can help to position a tooth and aid in facial development both externally and internally. Each bracket is placed on a tooth using a bonding system similar to glue, an arch wire is then placed to connect all the brackets together. Traditional braces are brackets where a rubber band is used to hold a wire on the bracket to move the teeth into alignment with the wire. This type of movement is known as active ligation because the tooth is actively being put into a different place.
Self-ligating braces are brackets that have a channel and door system that allow the wire to float within the channel generating less force on a tooth aiding in bone growthing and less discomfort, this is known as passive ligation.
Orthotropics is an orthodontic treatment option for children ages 5 – 10 who have underdeveloped forward facial growth and restricted airways. Orthotropic patients will be placed in both braces and expander appliances during treatment as well as work with our myofunctional therapist. The first appliance is called an expancer and this aids in positioning the front teeth in the correct place corresponding with age and facial development.
The second appliance is called the ADAPT which allows the patient to rest in a forward position, aiding in temporal changes that are needed to bring the face forward. The third and final appliance is a TPA retainer, this helps to hold the oral position during eating, exercising, and myofunctional therapy. This process is slow and takes endurance, our end goal is to help you breathe better, sleepy, better, and function mentally better and therefore have the ability to live a healthy life.
Tongue & Lip Tie
A tongue tie is when the mucous membrane (frenulum) that connects the tongue to the roof of the mouth is too tight that it limits the motion of the tongue. If the mucous membrane connecting the upper lip to the gum tissue is too tight, it doesn’t allow the lips to move freely. Tongue ties can be problematic as early as birth. It can cause pain for the mother while nursing and frustration to the baby asd they cannot create the correct seal needed to effectively nurse. As the baby grows, the tongue should sit in the roof of the mouth and help promote growth of the jaws. When the tongue is tied down it is unable to fit in the roof of the mouth and the child has an underdeveloped upper jaw and a retruded lower jaw. This causes the airway to not grow to its full growth potential and can affect breathing, sleeping, behavior and even cognition.
Parents can look for signs of a tongue tie as soon as their child is born. If your infant has any of these symptoms it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible to limit future problems from occurring.
- Difficulty latching during breastfeeding
- Acts hungry regularly
- Clicking sounds when feeding
- Tongue can’t move from side to side, to the roof of the mouth, or out past the gums
- Acting fussy during feeding
- Not gaining weight
- Chews instead of sucking
- Feeds for long periods with only short periods of rest in between
If a tongue tie is not corrected at birth, there are many symptoms that show up in children and adults. If you have any of these symptoms, you may want to be evaluated for a tongue tie.
- Tongue looks notched or makes a heart shape when stuck out
- Tongue makes eating / speaking difficult
- Overbite – Poor oral health
- Tongue can’t extend past the lower front teeth, side to side, or the roof of the mouth
- Sleep Apnea
- Crowded or gapped teeth
Myobrace is an appliance system that helps establish nasal breathing and corrects poor oral habits. The appliance is worn 1-2 hours during the day as well as overnight and is coupled with activities which focus on treating the underlying causes, unlocking natural growth and development. Once the bad habits are corrected, the jaw will develop to the correct growth potential which in turn decreases the need for traditional orthodontics.
Myobrace is best intended for children ages 4 – 10, to start this process the patient will come in for an orthodontic record appointment where we will further determine if there is a need and benefit for the myobrace system. The records appointment in our office includes a full orthodontic evaluation, photos of facial posture and mouth formation, CBCT, JVA, and a myofunctional evaluation. Treatment for each patient is individualized to fit the characteristics they have and normally takes about 12-18 months to complete.
Myobrace activities, referred to at Myofunctional Therapy, will be included and will be a very important part in treatment. Each month the child will learn new exercises that should be practiced daily at home. The exercises help the child’s jaw grow wide and forward with the hopes that the adult teeth will fit properly and naturally align. While we cannot guarantee that your child will not need braces in the future, we have seen with the correct function and jaw development that chances are greatly reduced and more importantly the child’s overall health and airway is improved.
We want to strengthen the muscles of the oral cavity and pharynx which includes the lips, tongue, soft palate, and throat. By creating a personal myofunctional therapy plan to suit the needs of each patient, we will accomplish the four goals as well as get stronger. You will be given daily exercises to strengthen any weak muscles and change previous habits a patient has, think of myofunctional therapy as little challenges for the muscles of the face and throat to win each day.
The four main goals of the exercises that are given in Myofunctional Therapy are:
- Breathe through your nose
- Tongue in the correct spot
- Correct swallow
- Lips together at all times
Myofunctional therapy is included with every patient going through orthodontics at Overman Family Dentistry. Everyone has heard of someone going through orthodontics as a child but as they grew up their teeth began to move and become crooked again, this is because their main functions were not addressed. We work on straightening the teeth (form) as well as how they are using their facial muscles and why their teeth are coming in crooked (function). Modern research has shown that our crooked teeth, in addition to poor jaw development are not hereditary; there are underlying issues that are needing to be addressed to help with these problems. We recognize each individual’s functions and habits then alter them to have much better success with retention as well as a better outcome of their orthodontic treatment.
Disorders causing Narrow jaws and Misaligned Teeth:
- Mouth breathing / abnormal breathing
- Tongue thrust
- Tongue tie
- Low tongue resting posture
- Lip tie
- Atypical swallowing
- Habits (thumb sucking, nail biting, lip licking, etc.)
Overman Family Dentistry Cares
Every time you visit us at Overman Family Dentistry, you’ll discover we are a family who cares. Every patient feels like a part of our family. We have fun every day and make sure your visit is one you enjoy instead of dread.
It feels like we are family!
Every time we visit Dr. Overman’s office I feel like we are going to visit our relatives. The best part is their office is so inviting with a fun sitting are for our kids to hangout and watch cartoons or color.