The Myobrace® System:
Crooked teeth are not a forgone conclusion or inevitable occurrence. Crooked teeth are however a clear sign that growth and development of the jaws, and consequently the face, is not occurring optimally. Crooked teeth are a clear sign of underdeveloped jaws and underdeveloped jaws will adversely affect facial growth and development.
Traditional orthodontics can do very little to correct underdeveloped jaws and facial structures because crooked teeth are not typically straightened until most of the permanent teeth have already erupted. Once the permanent teeth have erupted, the majority of a person’s growth and development has already occurred. Compounding this problem is the fact that simply straightening teeth does nothing to address the original cause of the crooked teeth; therefore, the newly straightened teeth are at severe risk of becoming crooked again.
In our office, we address the problems of crooked teeth as early as age two. If the problems causing crooked teeth are spotted at an early age and those problems can be eliminated then often a patient can entirely avoid ever having to have braces.
If crooked teeth are a symptom of inadequate growth then what is causing the retarded growth? There are a myriad of possible causes, most of which can be lumped under the umbrella of “orofacial myofunctional disorders” (OMDs). OMDs are simply defined as “abnormal movement patterns of the face and mouth”. The most common OMDs that adversely affect jaw and facial growth would include: poor tongue posture, poor swallowing pattern, poor lip seal, and mouth breathing.
OMDs will cause a minimal amount of damage to the face and jaws of a two year old and any damage that might occur can be overcome; however, damage caused by OMDs in a nearly fully grown teenager or fully grown adult are much more difficult and costly to overcome. This is why it is critical that OMDs are identified as early as possible. We screen all of our patients for OMDs from age two to 102. Parents can easily spot many of the OMDs and/or adverse effects they cause in their children.
Easily Identified OMDs or Their Side Effects:
• Crooked teeth
• Crossbite (when biting down on the back teeth, the lower teeth bite on the outside of the upper teeth)
• Narrow smile
• When sitting still and not talking are the lips sealed?
• Dark spots under the eyes
• Forward head posture
• Weak chin
• Bed wetting
• Poor posture
• Overly tired
• Struggling in school
These are some of the more common signs and symptoms of OMDs. If you, your child, or someone you care about has any of the above signs or symptoms a discussion with a well-trained dentist is warranted
Treatment of OMDs:
We use a product called Myobrace® (www.Myobrace.com). Myobrace® is designed to help overcome OMDs by training the patient to improve their tongue position, teach them to swallow correctly, keep their lips sealed and breathe through their nose. The Myobrace® also helps to widen the jaws by eliminating the OMDs that are inhibiting optimal growth and development of the jaws. Properly formed jaws provide the needed space for teeth to erupt naturally straight and often without the need for braces.
Unfortunately, many of our patients were not afforded Myobrace® treatment at an early age and are now stuck with the adverse effects of long-term OMDs. While some of the adverse facial changes are irreversible, some of the changes are reversible with the elimination of OMDs and using additional oral appliances that promote growth and development of the jaws and face.
The Myobrace® System consists of a series of intra-oral appliances that are worn while the patient sleeps and then 1-2 hours during the day. The appliances are comfortable and easy to wear. There are also Myobrace® Activities that are to be done twice a day and consist of breathing, swallowing, tongue, lip, and cheek exercises. These exercises are fun and interactive with available online videos. Activities and exercises are overseen in our office by a trained myofunctional therapist.
We invite you to call our office for a consultation to see if Myobrace® therapy could help you, your child or someone you love (801-542-0267).