Myobrace® Expansion for Optimal Jaw Growth and Development
Are Myobrace Expanders an Alternative to Braces?
Myo brace can be an alternative to traditional braces depending on treatment goals. It is at least a head-start to getting a smile that is healthy and straight. Expanders stimulate the jaws to grow bigger and create more space so teeth can fit properly and be straight. When expansion treatment is initiated early enough, teeth will have enough room to come in straight and there may not be a need for braces (in many cases).
Dr. Adams uses several different kids growth appliances called palatal expanders. In addition to the Myobrace system, we use Schwarz, Twin Block, ALF and Crozat appliances for children. There is no specific “best” appliance. Dr. Adams will select the best appliance and treatment depending on your child’s developmental needs. Each appliance has a purpose and may be the proper growth appliance for your case.
As a parent, you want the best for your kids, especially when it comes to their health and appearance. Parents are often confused about what age kids should get braces. Many orthodontists recommend braces at an early age and then again when they become teens. Some dentists advise waiting for all the baby teeth to fall out prior to getting braces. When should kids get braces anyway? Besides the dollar signs that nearly blind most parents, some orthodontic treatments are ineffective as teeth move and get crooked only months after braces. Why?
What is Holistic Orthodontics?
Holistic orthodontics focuses on straight teeth and correcting poor function such as tongue thrust, tongue tie and mouth breathing. Holistic orthodontics stimulates proper jaw and facial growth and optimizes the bite and airway. Crooked teeth happen when jaw structures do not grow optimally. Poor jaw structure development is seen with tongue tie and airway obstruction. When the mouth does not grow to be large enough, teeth become crooked because there is not enough room for all of them to fit.
Holistic and functional dental treatment seeks to treat the underlying cause of a medical problem. And holistic orthodontics is just one example of this same treatment philosophy. When the underlying cause is corrected, rarely do the problems happen again. One key to straight teeth and optimal health is proper growth and development of the mouth so the teeth and tongue have enough room to fit and function properly.
Kids Expanders and Growth Appliances by Dr. Adams
How is Myobrace different than Braces and Conventional Orthodontics?
Understanding the causes of crooked teeth can help explain the latest advancements in orthodontics. While many people believe crowded teeth and incorrect jaw development are caused by big teeth in small jaws and hereditary factors, those are not the causes. Orthodontic problems are really caused by mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, tongue tie, reverse swallowing and thumb sucking. In addition to those habits, children who suffer from allergies and asthma, or have open mouth posture are even more at risk for incorrect dental and facial development. Also eating only soft foods can contribute to small jaw growth and crowded teeth.
Better Not to Extract teeth for Orthodontics
When orthodontists extract teeth and install braces, the underlying issues for what they are correcting – the teeth and jaw – aren’t being addressed. Extractions and traditional braces simply bandaid the problem. Tooth removal for braces is one of the biggest risk factors for TMJ dysfunction and sleep apnea. When the braces are removed, teeth move back unless children wear a retainer for the rest of their life. The retainer simply pushes the teeth back if they move, and keep the teeth from moving. The movement is caused by tongue pressure. Extractions cause the mouth space to be smaller and there is no longer enough room for the tongue to function properly.
A possible unfortunate consequence of traditional braces and other orthodontic treatments besides poor oral development is the heightened risk of suffering from sleep-disordered breathing, such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It is very important to diagnose and treat tongue tie and habits and use expanders if necessary. Expanders assist in facial and jaw development. They create proper space for the teeth, tongue and airway. Proper care needs to be taken when doing orthodontics. Some new orthodontic techniques are called “airway orthodontics.”
Sleep-disordered breathing references conditions that cause a person to partially or completely stop breathing several times a night. Due to restless sleep, people who suffer from sleep-disordered breathing suffer from daytime sleepiness or fatigue.
If you’re thinking, “There has to be a better solution.”, you’re right.
What is Airway Orthodontics?
Airway Orthodontics is a type of holistic dentistry that not only takes into account patients’ teeth but their mouth and body. So, in the case of correcting crooked teeth by extractions and braces, the orthodontist is only focused on straightening the teeth. With a more holistic approach, the orthodontist focuses on the causes of the crooked teeth when straightening them, so the results will last without having to use retainers for a lifetime.
Airway orthodontics seeks to not only straighten crooked teeth but also improve airways for better breathing and overall health. When patients can breathe better, they can sleep better, which leads to better health and development for children. Many children have pediatric sleep apnea. Sleep problems in kids has different symptoms than adults. Kids may act like they have ADHD and have very short attention spans. Kids may even wet the bed.
The Myobrace® System focuses on the underlying issues that have led to crooked teeth. Children as young as three years old can use the system, but teens up to 15 are also good candidates for it.
Myobrace® treatment is a pre-orthodontic system that promotes the healthy development of the jaw and mouth, which is why it’s beneficial for children. The applications are removable and only need to be utilized one to two hours a day, and overnight while sleeping. Healthy start is another pediatric expansion system much like the Myobrace with some very distinct differences.
Parents may choose the Myobrace® system or Healthy Start for their children because:
- It corrects poor oral habits.
- It helps develop and align the jaws.
- Straightens teeth.
- Improves facial development and overall health.
- Promotes healthy eating.
Myobrace vs Healthy Start is a decision for the dentist to determine. Due to the way the appliances fit into the mouth, it forces users to breathe through their nose and keep the tongue in the correct resting position. It also helps users swallow correctly and keep their lips together.
Besides helping users breathe correctly, it also gently widens the jaw to make room for the teeth. Since the teeth won’t be crowded because of a small jaw, they end up growing in much straighter decreasing the need for orthodontic treatment.
Myobrace® and Healthy Start Activities
The Myobrace® system also includes activities or exercises that can optimize the work of intra-oral appliances. The exercises should be performed twice a day and focus on breathing, lip and tongue position, cheek movement, and swallowing.
The Myobrace® treatment stages are:
- Habit Correction – first Myobrace
- Arch Development – second Myobrace
- Dental Alignment – third Myobrace
- Retention – Myobrace retainer
In the first stage of the treatment, the patient learns to breathe through the nose. Breathing through the nose may not be comfortable for the patient, but over time with practice, it will feel natural. The habit correction stage also helps patients get used to keeping their lips together when they are not eating or speaking.
The arch development stage involved widening the upper jaw to allow for enough room for growing teeth and the tongue. Children under the age of 7 may have an underdeveloped jaw, so they may need to use the Myobrace® System with the Biobloc or Farrell Bent Wire System to maximize the size of the jaw. For very young children, the Myolay may be recommended.
The dental alignment stage happens when the last of the permanent teeth erupt, usually around adolescence. The Myobrace® for Teens helps align the teeth, so they end up in their natural position.
The last stage of the system is retention. The stage helps users maintain the good oral habits they learned, which can prevent them from having to wear a permanent retainer or wire.
One of the biggest challenges of the Myobrace® system is compliance. The intra-oral appliances must be worn a minimum of one hour during the day and all night for it to be effective.
Parents can help greatly with the compliance part of the system. Ensuring children wear it at the same time each day and every night will help them grow accustomed to them, making them second nature to use.
It may take a few weeks for the system to become a habit to use, but once it does become one, parents report it becomes somewhat of a comfort to their children. In other words, they have a hard time sleeping without it.
Braces After The Myobrace®
The Myobrace® system does not guarantee users will not need braces. It simply promotes good oral habits and health, which can reduce the chances of needing braces. Children and adolescents who need braces after using The Myobrace® usually do not need them for as long as those who did not use the system. They also do not need to wear a retainer for as long to keep their teeth in position.
Additional Benefits of Myobrace®
In addition to the intra-oral appliances and the exercises, The Myobrace® System provides a video series that teach children about proper nutrition to prevent tooth decay and improve jaw development. The videos are animated, making them highly entertaining for children.
Myobrace® has been used worldwide in 100 countries over the past three decades. The Myofunctional Research Co. continues to study the effects of the system to ensure it is effective for patients.
Case Study #1:
Myobrace® was used on a three-year-old girl who had an open bite. The patient was found to have mouth breathing linked to crooked teeth. Her parents wanted to know what could be done about it and decided to give The Myobrace® System a try. In just 12 months, the open bite was gone.
Case Study #2:
A ten-year-old boy exhibited overcrowded teeth on the upper and lower jaws. While an orthodontist may have recommended waiting until the adult teeth came in and then use braces to correct the crowding, the parents decided on Myobrace® treatment. In 24 months, his teeth were straight and the jaw had widened to resolve the crowding of the teeth.
Case Study #3:
An 11-year-old had an open bite and overjet. The Myobrace® System was able to correct both in just seven months.
Case Study #4:
A 21-year-old didn’t get braces as a teenager and thought she was too old to use the Myobrace® system. Fortunately, she wasn’t, and the system along with braces helped her achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.
Research on Early Interceptive Treatment
Early interceptive treatment in the orthodontics field has been growing in popularity thanks to the research conducted on it. After identifying the causes of crooked teeth (mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, reverse swallowing, and thumb sucking), the researchers were able to identify what could stop them.
Researchers Akira Kanao, Masanori Mashiko, and Kosho Kanao found that a mouth-breathing habit has a negative impact on the morphology of the jaws and dental arches in growing children. A maxillary protrusion is caused by infancy and early childhood myofunctional habits, such as thumb or finger sucking, using a pacifier, or breastfeeding.
A study by Serdar Usumez, et. al. found, “Preorthodontic train application induces basically dentoalveolar changes that result in a significant reduction of overjet and can be used with appropriate patient selection.”
In a research paper using a clinical case, the trainer appliance may stimulate mandibular growth and increase the vertical dimension of it. The results of using the appliance include faster treatment time and more stable results.
A 2007 study by Ramirez-Yanez G et. al. shows “a prefabricated functional appliance is a valid alternative to treat malocclusions at an early age, as it clinically significantly stimulates transverse development of the dental arches.”
How to Know Your Child Needs Expanders
The best way to know if Myobrace® is right for your child is to find a holistic orthodontist or dentist who understands the system and has used it on patients. After a thorough examination, he will know whether or not your child would benefit from the Myobrace® treatment.
Besides making an appointment with a Myobrace® provider, you can pay attention to your child’s oral habits, such as breathing through the mouth, grinding teeth at night, and teeth coming in crowded or crooked. These are all signs Myobrace® may be a good option.
Myobrace® Treatment Cost
Treatment cost for The Myobrace System depends on many factors such as:
- Teeth misalignment
- Jaw development
Typically, most people pay $3200 to $5400 for the entire treatment, including consultation fees and x-rays.
Myobrace® for Adults
Adults can benefit from the Myobrace® system. The system of adults consists of a three-stage appliance system that can correct poor oral habits while treating upper and lower jaw developmental problems. The soft and flexible material for the A1 appliance adapts to a wide range of arches and poorly aligned teeth. This makes it more comfortable for those who are just starting with the treatment.
Following the initial stage of The Myobrace® for Adults, the next appliance is used. It is referred to as A2. It is much firmer, which exerts more aligning force to the anterior teeth. This helps move the teeth and jaw closer to proper positioning.
Myobrace® A3 is the last stage for adults. The appliance is made from hard polyurethane. It’s effective for mild malocclusion and promotes proper alignment and retention.
Myobrace® Treatment Reviews
Myobrace® has been used in Australia for quite some time and it is just gaining popularity in the United States now. On an Australian kid-related forum called EssentialKids, some parents have reported positive results from the treatment.
My 11 yr old daughter is just finishing hers now. She’s had it for a 3 years. It has been brilliant, her teeth are perfect now. It has cost us about $3000 I think. It’s cheaper the younger you start. We are on the Gold Coast.
Generally, they have to wear them for an hr. a day and at night when they sleep. You have to make sure they wear them, which can be the hardest part. I know of 4 other kids that have used them, all with very positive results. – Jellygems
DD finished 4 years of orthodontic work last year and her teeth are amazing. No extractions needed and less than a year of actual braces. – Coffeegirl
My son used the T4K Stage 1 and had remarkable improvement. His teeth that were extremely overcrowded ended up almost straight and that was without him being very vigilant in using it. – BlindedByTheLight
Learn More About Myobrace® Treatment in Burtonsville
Dr. Gary Adams is a holistic dentist in Burtonsville. His biological practice focuses on providing a safe, clean, and healthy environment for patients. The practice is a metal-free, mercury-free and fluoride-free dental office. All of our holistic dental services seek to not only improve the health and beauty of our patients’ teeth but also improve overall health.