Holistic Orthodontics – Healthy Smiles and Airways
Crooked teeth are not in anyone’s DNA. Human DNA specifies straight teeth and balanced jaw structures that fit perfectly into the mouth. Allowing for perfect space for functions that occur in the mouth:
- Airway and Breathing
- Eating food aka Mastication
- Talking and Communication
- Smiling and Cosmetics
- Head / Cranial Balance and Posture
- Drinking Fluids
So why do some kids have crooked teeth and bad bites? Cross bites? Open bites and poor facial profile? Holistic orthodontics identifies the root cause of these developmental problems and answers to these questions.
What Age should Kids get Orthodontic Treatment?
Initiating orthodontic appliance therapy is best done between the ages of 5 and 14. 80% of jaw and facial development occurs by the age of 14. After age 14 appliances and techniques that stimulate growth and development will be necessary. Never pull teeth for braces and straight teeth. Several growth and palatal expansion appliances for young children exist such as the ALF appliance and Myobrace.
Crooked teeth, small jaw structures and crowded airway spaces are warning signs of larger problems
holistic orthodontics uses natural forces such as the tongue pressure, chewing forces and proper breathing to promote jaw and anterior facial development. More growth and development means more space for teeth to fit, and be straight and balanced. The goal of holistic orthodontist services is to create beautiful and balanced smiles as well as a healthier life and optimal breathing patterns during sleep. Optimal space in the mouth for tongue function and unrestricted / unobstructed breathing is important. Critical to proper sleep and prevention and sleep apnea and night time teeth clenching. The ultimate consequence when needed orthodontic treatment is not performed or completed properly is TMJ, sleep apnea and UARS. UARS stands for upper airway resistance syndrome. We love straight teeth, but cosmetics is not our only goal.
Holistic Appliances Used by Dr. Adams
- Schwarz Appliance – this appliance is capable of growing jaw bones wider, more forward and taller. Basically all the things an underdeveloped mouth needs. And by the way, when there is enough room, teeth are straight and the bite is balanced. The appliance is perfect for correcting crowded teeth, small high palates and growing jaws outward for improving facial profile. Correcting the profile by growing the jaw structures outward, moves the tongue posture position away from the airway and improves sleep. The Schwarz appliance needs to be used between the ages of 5 and 15 while natural growth is taking place. Once growth is complete, an appliance such as a DNA appliance or AGGA appliance will need to be used. The DNA and AGGA are growth appliances that will stimulate adult bone to start growing again. As well as promote adult jaws to grow in the desired direction. Adult problems are much more difficult to correct and usually are complicated by TMJ, sleep and bruxism problems.
- ALF appliance is a light springy wire that applies a constant outward force. The appliance promotes forward growth in a U-shape direction. That is, promotes the jaw or dental arch to grow forward in the broad shape of a U. That is the same shape as the tongue. The ALF appliance expands the maxilla and easily achieves a symmetric facial profile. The ALF is termed a “natural expander” because the goal is to use natural growth stimulating forces such as the tongue to aid in expansion. The texture of the ALF up against the back surfaces of the teeth stimulates the tongue to push on it. The tongue pressure actually activates much of the expansion. The ALF has also been widely used in adults for years. Dr. Adams has started using other newer appliances (most of the time) for Adults such as the DNA. because the ALF is not as good at 3D bone growth.
Healthy Start Appliance and Myobrace Provider
Healthy Start and Myobrace are orthodontic and orthopedic system that helps address tooth crowding, airway and sleep problems in children. The system stimulates the jaws to grow, improves tongue functions and sleep. Problems such as sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing in kids can be cured or improved. Often times crooked teeth and bad bites can be fixed without braces.
ALF Appliance Video
3. DNA Appliance – An adult appliance needs to stimulate bone to start growing again. And grow jaw bone wider, taller and more forward. For adults, the focus is in treating problems such as sleep, TMJ pain and teeth clenching. The DNA appliance is usually the appliance of choice for adults to achieve correction of teeth crowding, balanced smiles with optimal jaw spaces for better sleep and a cure for pain jaw symptoms. The DNA appliance is a removable appliance that only needs to be worn at night and is easy for adult to tolerate. The AGGA appliance is a forward growth appliance for adults.
DNA Appliance Video
What causes teeth to be Crowed and Crooked?
Long story short – a tied tongue or too soft of a diet. Or both. A tied tongue prevents the tongue from having the proper range of motion. The puts pressure on the jaws and stimulates them to grow to be the proper shape. A soft diet does not work the jaw muscles enough. Chewing hard foods helps promote jaw bone growth.
Crooked teeth are a sign of underlying problems such as facial under-development, small upper airway and poor tongue function. Tooth crowding is the writing on the wall that things are not growing or have not grown in the right direction. Paying attention to these warning signs can steer you away from future health problems.
Natural orthodontic services use the aid of natural forces such as the tongue, chewing forces and gentle functional appliances such the
ALF Vs Schwarz Appliances for Kids
Notice the healthy increase in facial diameter and optimal tooth positions created. The facial balance has been optimized. The eyes, nose, ears and teeth are now parallel and level. The child used to have the entire right side of his face higher than the left. The increase in space will result in proper tongue position, more room for mouth and nasal breathing, better space for sinus drainage and performance. The health benefits and facial aesthetics for this child are life changing.
ALF is a Gentle Functional Expander that promotes Jaw growth and Space for Crowded Teeth to fit
An Example of a gentle functional appliance is an ALF appliance. Advanced Lightwire is an example of an expander. The natural expander can also be used to gently increase the size of the mouth and balance the shape of the jaws. It is invaluable in correcting tooth crowding and encouraging jaw growth so all the teeth and tongue can fit into proper places and spaces. The ALF can sometimes be an alternative to braces when tooth crowding is the issue. The ALF can help avoid the need to extract teeth to create more space for all the teeth to fit.
How Advanced Lightwire Functional Works
The use of the ALF appliance and other functional appliances improves jaw and facial balance, bite balance and proper space for nasal / mouth breathing, tongue position. Proper “balance” and “space” is what creates stability, health and prevents future TMJ, posture and sleep problems. Use of traditional orthodontic wires may not correct facial asymmetries seen above and may not create enough space for teeth and healthy tongue position. If care is not taken with Wires, the teeth can be held back or pulled back too far in the mouth and into the airway. (We still promote the use of orthodontic wires, but only after proper balance and space has been created. In fact many of our cases are still done at least in part with orthodontic wires).
Traditional orthodontics has focused on moving teeth and getting them straight with metal wires, bands, and brackets. During child development, jaws and facial bones can under develop, causing a small mouth and too little room in the jaws for all the teeth to fit. Orthodontic wires if used improperly can restrict growth in a child.
How to start Holistic Orthodontics in Kids:
- identify factors affecting tooth crowding and under-development. Most often we will find a tongue tie. A tongue tie restricts the range of motion of the tongue and causes a thinning of the tongue profile on extension. The tongue is the primary factor promoting jaw development outward and width wise. The tongue literally applies pressure to growing jaws in a child to promote the growth. When the range of motion of the tongue is restricted the tongue cannot apply enough pressure for optimal development. That is when we see teeth crowding, small jaws, poor nasal breathing and possibly even poor sleep and snoring.
- Untie the tongue. An easy procedure with no bleeding, lasts 30 seconds with a laser
- Tongue Exercises to increase the range of motion of the tongue.
- Expansion with an ALF or DNA Appliance
Avoid Pulling or Extracting Teeth for Braces and Orthodontics:
Teeth are often extracted to create more space as a part of orthodontic treatment. Extracting teeth and pulling teeth back with wires, reduces the size of the mouth, nasal passageways, sinuses and the face in general. A small mouth can crowd the tongue and reduce the size of the airway. Airway problems can lead to TMJ problems, sleep apnea, chronic sinus issues, poor posture, chronic skeletal pain, metabolic problems and teeth clenching during sleep.
Natural orthodontia uses treatments to create more room in the mouth for all the teeth to fit more naturally. Treatment is centered around optimal oral-facial development and function. The use of an ALF appliance and tongue and chewing exercises is a common treatment course for crowded teeth.
Is there anything more important than Breathing, Proper Posture, Balance and Overall Health?
Identifying factors involved in Teeth Crowding and Facial Under Development:
- Diet of soft foods such as Macaroni and Cheese, and Applesauce vs Celery and Chewy Meats and Nuts.
- Tongue Tied improperly limiting range of motion of the Tongue
- Airway Problems
Natural and normal oral-facial development helps promote healthy attractive smiles, healthy jaws, large airways, healthy posture and whole-body health. After all, promoting whole-body health through proper dental care is what holistic dentistry is all about.
Natural Orthodontist is for Adults and Children. We screen children for proper development starting as young as 3 years old.
The goal for children is to promote optimal oral-facial development and avoid small mouths and crowed teeth situations. HO for adults is more complicated because oral-facial development has already occurred.
Adult Orthodontist cases are more difficult because they often involve TMJ pain and Airway Problems or in general longterm breakdown
The DNA appliance can be used to re-develop adult jaws and facial bones to optimize and balance the upper and lower jaws. The DNA Appliance is very effective in treating TMJ problems due to its unique ability to create new growth and balance adult jaws. The DNA Appliance can create proper Space, Bite Balance and Facial Symmetry for the Adult. How to stop clenching teeth. And what are the different kinds of tooth wear and how does it happen?