Myofunctional Orthodontics

Early intervention in children’s bad oral habits can save them from a future of wearing braces and extractions, and prevent many other health problems. Children treated earlier will have a longer cranial growth period to promote better jaw and facial development. We are able to detect sinister underlying causes that parents may not be not aware of until the damage has already occurred. Such detections are priceless when you’re talking about your child’s health and happiness.

Research has shown that most crowded and crooked teeth are due to incorrect myofunctional habits such as mouth breathing, finger sucking, prolonged use of dummies, tongue thrusting, etc. These “habits” create an imbalance of the facial muscles and tongue position, thus, impairing the full potential growth of the jaws. Myobrace therapy can correct these underlying causes of improper jaw and facial development.

A great number of pre-teens are opting for the Myobrace treatment, with the aim of minimising, if not preventing, future need for conventional orthodontic intervention. If you notice early crowding of your child’s teeth, thumb sucking, snoring or poor sleeping pattern, Myobrace therapy could be the answer.

Myobrace Appliances

The Myobrace® appliance range is an advanced myofunctional orthodontic system, intelligently structured for a clearer approach to appliance selection. The appliances incorporate cutting-edge design characteristics, taking orthodontic treatment to a whole new level. The Myobrace System™ uses different classifications to separate each appliance group.

One of the key principles of myofunctional orthodontics is to ensure that the patient’s tongue is positioned correctly in their maxilla. 

Treatment includes a series of intra-oral appliances that are worn 1-2 hours each day as well as overnight while sleeping. Myobrace corrects poor oral habits, develops and aligns the jaws, straightens the teeth, optimises facial development and improves overall health.

With good compliance, Myobrace treatment can offer more than straight teeth, allowing children to reach their full genetic potential.

Myobrace System

The Myobrace appliances which make up the Myobrace System have the proven dual function of correcting the oral habits that cause poor dental development (known as myofunctional habits) while also providing light forces to align the teeth into their natural position. They are available for children, teenagers and adults. These appliances are designed to be used in-sequence to effectively train the tongue to position correctly in the upper jaw, retraining the oral musculature and exerting light forces to align the teeth.

Myobrace appliances must be worn daily for at least 1 to 2 hours during the day and overnight while sleeping. They help encourage normal resting postures of the muscles of the mouth. It is also important to assist the use of the appliances by doing certain tongue, mouth and breathing activities called myofunctional exercises. These exercises should be performed daily along with the wearing your appliance. Due to the nature of removable appliances, patient compliance is essential. Patients must understand that the treatment will only progress if they use the appliance daily as instructed, attend regular check-ups with the provider and ensure that they follow each of the steps outlined in their treatment plan.

Tongue Ties

A tongue tie is an anomaly which presents as a short, thick piece of skin (known as the lingual frenum) that connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. It decreases mobility of the tip of the tongue. It occurs in 5% of people and is a factor in breastfeeding problems and inability of a baby to attach.

In this lowered tongue position, the tongue cannot have positive influence in establishing the correct shape of the jaw. This, in turn, can affect the position of the teeth within the jaw and problems with crowding will follow.

It is important to discourage thumb or finger sucking beyond the age of 2 years. Some children may need professional help and guidance to successfully eliminate their habit.

Common Causes of Abnormal Muscle Balance & Improper Development Mouth Breathing

Allergies, asthma and open mouth posture are some of the most common causes of improper facial and dental development. Mouth breathing results in an open mouth posture. The lower jaw is dropped lower and the tongue is pulled away from its proper resting spot, which is the front part of the roof of the mouth.

Thumb and Finger Sucking

Thumb or finger sucking lowers tongue posture and generates constricting forces on jaws from the cheeks during sucking.

Tongue Thrusts or Reverse Swallow

It is estimated that in 24 hours, you swallow 1200-2000 times with about 500g of pressure per swallow. To put that in perspective, it only takes 1.7g of pressure to move a tooth. With the correct swallowing pattern, the tongue pushes against the roof of your mouth. This stimulates the growth and expansion of the roof of developing child. If your tongue does not rest in the roof of your mouth, the top jaw will become narrow and teeth won’t have enough room to grow straight.

Tongue thrust or reverse swallow is an incorrect swallowing method where the tongue is pushed forward during swallowing instead of against the roof the mouth. This creates unfavourable pressure, preventing the face from developing to its full genetic potential. As a result, the lack of space causes the teeth to be crowded.

Bottle Feeding and Pacifier

Breastfeeding promotes tongue to palate contact and requires “suckling”, which stimulates the jaw muscle activity that promotes forward growth of the jaws. Bottle feeding and pacifiers cause a lowered tongue position and use “sucking” which requires less effort and does not stimulate the same growth. The inability of the tongue tip to elevate (i.e. the prolonged use of bottle feeding and pacifiers) during development impedes the natural progression to a mature swallowing pattern. The lowered tongue posture can also lead to open-mouth breathing and, as a result, facial development is affected. This causes misaligned teeth.

At SmileBay, we are all about helping little mouths to develop to their fullest potential. We offer assessments and management for mouth breathers, thumb suckers and those with myofunctional disorders.

Make An Appointment with SmileBay Dental Today!
We’d love to help you achieve your new smile and other dental needs. Contact us to book an appointment today!

A great smile is a confidence booster that can enhance one’s quality of life and brighten up the lives of those around them.

Make An Appointment with SmileBay Dental Today!

We’d love to help you achieve your new smile and other dental needs. Contact us to book an appointment today!

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