Alternative or Myofunctional Orthodontics -Myobrace
Alternative or Myofunctional Orthodontics- Myobrace
Is Your Child Growing and Developing at Their Full Genetic Potential?
An overwhelming amount of children develop malocclusions, (bad jaw formation and incorrect bite), which can effect not only the craniofacial harmony of the face, but more importantly can adversely affect their airways as well! More than half of children develop a malocclusion prior to entering kindergarten, often due to myofunctional, (muscular), habits developed as early as infancy.
How Can Parents Tell if There Might Be a Problem?
There are several clues parents may notice in their child’s development:
- Tooth alignment – irregular teeth in the growing child. 65% of children have malocclusion (an incorrect bite): Is you child a mouth breather or nasal breather? Is your child’s mouth generally opened or closed? Correct nasal breathing; with proper lip seal is imperative to your child’s development. The nose filters the air, increases our body’s ability to absorb oxygen, and promotes proper airway development.
- Jaw growth – Does your child have a deep bite, excessive overbite, or underbite? Your child’s developing breathing and swallowing patterns influences these malocclusions.
- Tooth alignment – irregular teeth in the growing child. 65% of children have malocclusion (an incorrect bite)
- The way they swallow – When you child swallows, do their lips move, or their chin purse?
What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy?
It’s like physical therapy for the face! The muscles in our face are very strong, and can produce several hundred grams of force on the bones and teeth of our jaws. It takes minimal force to move a tooth (about 2 grams of force). Therefore, when these muscles are contracting in the wrong way, they can adversely affect how your child develops their jaw, bite, and airway. Myofunctional therapy is the study of how these muscles affect breathing, swallowing, feeding, speech, and facial features.
Parents – Please Take Note:
The proper growth and development of your child is a key factor in their health, and is just as important as their education. By age 4, 40% of the face has developed, by age 7, 70% of the face has developed. This means that by the first day of elementary school, 3 out of 4 children will not experience correct facial, jaw or airway development. This can result in disordered breathing, and skeletal issues that could affect them for the rest of their lives.
What are some of the symptoms of a Myofunctional disorder?
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb, finger or pacifier sucking
- Cheek or lip biting
- Overactive lips/chin when swallowing
- Frequent choking/gagging
- Speech Issues
- Reverse Swallow/ Tongue Thrust
- Deep bite
Myobrace Vs. Traditional Orthodontic Treatment:
These two treatment modalities have two very different treatment goals. Traditional orthodontic treatment is meant to move teeth. In doing so, brackets can often result in shorter tooth, increased cavities, stripped enamel, and an unstable result. Traditional orthodontic treatment often fails to address the main CAUSE of the crooked teeth, and without a retainer, the teeth will often shift back into their crowded position once again.
Our alternative orthodontic treatment uses myofunctional techniques to address the poor muscular habits that are the underlying causes of crooked teeth, and uses light intermittent forces to align the teeth. Orthodontists have utilized this mode of practice around the world for over 25 years.
Benefits of Myobrace:
- Teach proper nasal breathing
- Uses light forces to naturally align the teeth
- Not worn all the time, and not at school
- Decreased risk of cavities during treatment
- No diet restrictions, as with braces
- Proper airway development
How does Myobrace work?
A series or removable dental trainers that are worn for 1-2 hours each day, and overnight while sleeping assist in the correction of the myofunctional habits. When accompanied with tongue and facial exercises performed by your child on a daily basis, the muscles will re-organize and muscle memory will be renewed. The Myobrace trainer system utilizes the body’s resources to develop the jaws, open the airway, and assist in moving the teeth into their natural alignment
What age do you start?
Most children start treatment between the ages of 5-15 yrs., however, unlike traditional orthodontics, the Myobrace trainer system can be used in children as young as 3. All products are safe, biocompatible, BPA free, and made of medical grade silicone. There is no choking hazard, and for really young children, there is a strap that hooks onto their clothing.
Is this the right fit for my child?
The Myobrace system is a wonderful option for children motivated to correct their airway, and jaw structure, and naturally align teeth without braces. It is important that the child be involved in treatment, and willing to wear the appliance.
My child already has braces; can I still use the Myobrace?
Absolutely! Brackets may be moving the teeth into the correct position, but it may fail to correct the myofunctional habits. The Myobrace can be fitted over brackets to assist in re-educating the tongue, lips and cheeks in proper placement. Myobrace has been show to speed up orthodontic treatment, as well as build a stable bite without the use of retainers!
Does it hurt?
The Myobrace system is a much more gentle approach to moving the teeth and repositioning jaws than traditional orthodontics. The Myobrace is working and training the muscles from their habitual position, and therefore a negligible amount of soreness may be present initially, however this subsides after continued wear.
How long does treatment take?
Treatment length depends heavily on the amount the appliance is used. We recommend 1-2 hours per day, as well as overnight use. We request that your child does not wear the aligner to school, but rather at home when they are doing homework or watching TV. The activities take 2-5 min a day. Average length of treatment is 18 months.
How do I care for my Myobrace?
Aligners should be cleaned thoroughly with non-abrasive toothpaste daily, and can be cleaned with any over the counter retainer/denture cleaner at least once a week. Be sure never to chew on your aligner, as this can result in damage. It is recommended that you keep your aligner in its case when not in use. Keep away from pets! Makes an awesome chew toy for your household dog.
What about Adults?
There is a trainer system for adults too! In fact, Dr. Khoury herself uses the Myobrace! Check her out!