A wide range of oral health and wellness challenges can develop as a result of improper facial growth and development, namely breathing problems, sleep apnea, an irregular bite, or persistent snoring. Furthermore, imbalanced facial musculature and bone growth can also affect the appearance of a child’s face and smile. Our team of pediatric dentists and skilled dental professionals are highly trained and experienced in diagnosing these types of concerns and providing gentle, effective treatments to realign structural and muscular balance. Among these treatment options are myofunctional orthodontic solutions that can comfortably straighten teeth, adjust the bite, and correct sub-optimal muscular habits. Myofunctional orthodontics involves the use of removable appliances, rather than traditional braces, to achieve important cosmetic, functional, and structural improvements during the development process. As always, the goal is to provide your child with a healthy, beautiful smile and optimal whole body health.
To learn more about myofunctional orthodontics, we invite you to explore the informative sections provided below. You may also schedule a discovery session at our practice to gain more knowledge about how our unique diagnostic approach and innovative treatments can benefit your child.
- What is Myofunctional Orthodontics?
- Creation of Myofunctional Orthodontics
- How Does Myofunctional Orthodontic Treatment Work?
- Myofunctional Orthodontic Treatment Options
What is Myofunctional Orthodontics?
Myofunctional orthodontics is a facet in orthodontic care that has been growing in popularity due to the functionality and improved comfort of removable appliances used in treatments. Myofunctional orthodontics offers an alternative to traditional braces through techniques designed to correct improper muscle habits that can create crooked teeth and breathing issues. Treatments focus on applying intermittent forces in order to align the teeth, as opposed to traditional methods that use a fixed bracket system to apply constant pressure to the teeth.
Why Was Myofunctional Orthodontics Created?
Myofunctional orthodontics is derived from a growing awareness in the medical community regarding the direct link between untreated airway issues and the development of sleep problems and long-term health concerns. Problems can arise due to improper jaw placement as well as incorrect muscular usage. Traditional orthodontics has unfortunately failed to address the issues caused by facial muscular habits, whereas myofunctional orthodontics aims to prevent these issues from developing through early detection and the treatment of potential causes.
How Does Myofunctional Orthodontic Treatment Work?
Myofunctional orthodontic treatments are conducted in phases, personalized to address the specific needs of each patient. Typically, a temporary removable oral appliance is administered to be worn one to two hours a day, and possibly at night while sleeping.
Depending on the specific needs of the patient, various appliances could be exercised as well. In addition, an educational program may be used to improve myofunctional habits. This can include certain swallowing, breathing, tongue, cheek, and lip exercises.
Myofunctional orthodontics is also believed to be growing in popularity due to the fact that it has been shown to have longer-lasting effects than traditional orthodontics. This is because the intermittent applied pressure can yield more effective results over time.
Myofunctional Orthodontic Treatment Options
At Ashburn Children’s Dentistry we employ a variety of myofunctional orthodontic treatment options to help our young patients:
Advanced Lightwire Functional (ALF) Appliance
The ALF appliance is a custom-deigned, removable oral device that uses osteopathic principles and gentle pressure to align the jaw, improve muscular function, and straighten teeth. The benefits of incorporating this device into a treatment plan can include improvements in facial development, breathing, and posture, as well as relief from a wide range of health concerns.
The Myobrace® System is a pre-orthodontic treatment option that focuses on guiding proper growth and development to prevent the need for braces in the future. Instead of fixing crooked teeth after they happen, Myobrace addresses the underlying causes of misaligned teeth and other problematic developmental concerns to provide a future of optimal dental health, proper breathing, and beautiful smiles. The Myobrace appliance is removable and does not require full-time wear.
The Myo Munchee® is a device that harnesses the power of chewing to exercise and strengthen oral and facial muscles. The benefits of using Myo Munchee can include improved breathing and chewing, as well as guidance of proper facial and dental development.
Through the lens of functional dentistry, cranial osteopathy focuses on gently manipulating, realigning, and strengthening the musculature of the face, head, and neck to treat specific dental problems and improve overall health.
SmileLase™ is an FDA-approved system that utilizes infrared light energy to help restore function, facilitate healing, and provide comfort to areas of the head and neck. The quick, customized treatments performed with SmileLase are designed to connect neurologic pathways that eliminate barriers to proper function and healing. These infrared treatments are touch-free and based on cutting-edge scientific research and technological advancements. SmileLase is well-suited for treating complex patients struggling with issues that can include pain, irregular development, and/or trauma. With the help of SmileLase, our dentists can improve the treatment process and outcomes of myofunctional orthodontic plans to enhance patients’ health and facial beauty.
Myofunctional orthodontics could be the solution for improving your child’s smile, physical comfort, and overall health. To get started, please contact our practice to schedule a discovery session. During this session you’ll have the opportunity to learn about our comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment, as well as the innovative therapeutic options we offer.