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Myofunctional Orthodontics

Early intervention in children’s bad oral habits can save them from future braces and extractions and prevent many other health problems. Children treated earlier will have more 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 damages has already occurred. Such detections are priceless when talking about your child's health and happiness.

Research has shown, that most crowded and crocked 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 the tongue position and thus impair 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.

Myofunctional Therapy : It's all in the tongue

The tongue's position when swallowing can be an important indication of a person's health, and it can impact the way they look and speak. Luckily, an abnormal tongue position can be corrected with myofunctional therapy, a specialized training process that ensures future good health and pleasing smile.

This form of therapy is a method of exercising the mouth and facial muscles to correct deviated swallowing, often referred to as "tongue thrust" gradually allowing the patient to swallow correctly as time goes on.

The condition can be found in adults, children with special needs and speech disorders, as well as people with misaligned teeth. Myofunctional therapy is customized for the individual based on age.

In orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMD), according to the American Speech Language Hearing Association, the tongue protrudes amid swallowing, speaking and while resting. This tongue thrusting can affect the form and function of the mouth. Although normal in infants, the tongue's protruding position should recede as a child develops. Tongue thrust can leads to other problems such as:

Misaligned teeth & Crowding



Facial pain

Speech problems

Mouth breathing

Sleep apnea

Stomach aches

Often a child may exhibit one or more of these symptoms and will need to seek care to correct the swallowing disorder before speech and tooth problems can be corrected.

Effect of tongue thrusting

Keep in mind improper tongue placement when swallowing can contribute to malocclusions like an overbite, overjet and underbite. For this reason, people with an abnormal tongue position are also prone to tooth decay and gum disease due to a decrease in the self-cleansing components of normal tongue activity and saliva flow.

Another concern is digestive problems. Improper swallowing can affect dietary choices and cause gastrointestinal issues thereby affecting general health.

The muscles of the face and mouth are designed to work together in a collaborative effort. By recognizing an orofacial myofunctional disorder early, you can help a child or adult overcome the hurdles that prevent them from using their mouths properly.

Myofunctional therapy may help in the treatment of Sleep Apnea for both children and adults, too. In fact, recent studies reported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have shown this therapy helps to decrease sleep apnea by roughly 50 and 60 percent in adults and kids, respectively. In adults, data showed increases in oxygen saturation with decreases in sleeplessness and snoring.

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. These groups are: Myobrace for Juniors™, Myobrace for Kids™, Myobrace for Teens™ and Myobrace for Adults™; representing the primary, early-mixed, late-mixed and permanent dentition stages respectively.

In addition to these main appliance groups there is a specialty group - Myobrace Interceptive Class III™ which offers treatment solutions for more specific cases displaying class III malocclusion. There is also the Myobrace for Arch Development™ which provides treatment solutions for cases which require increased arch development. One of the key principles of myofunctional orthodontics is to ensure that the patient’s tongue is positioned correctly in their maxilla.

The Trainer and the Myobrace Systems™ will take paediatric orthodontic care into the future and will be the first preference for parents who are concerned about the growth and development of their children.

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. These appliances are designed to be used in-sequence to effectively train the tongue to position correctly in the upper jaw, retrain the oral musculature and exert light forces to align the teeth.

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, retrain the oral musculature and exert 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 daily use is maintained as instructed and attend regular check-ups with your provider and ensure that you follow each of the steps outlined for you in your treatment plan.

Common Causes of Abnormal Muscle Balance & Improper Development

Mouth Breathing

Obstructed nasal breathing has been one 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. The thumb places pressure on the roof of the mouth which pushes up the palate, and also forces which tip the teeth. The open mouth posture changes the direction of growth of the lower jaw.

Bottle Feeding and Pacifier

Breastfeeding promotes tongue to palate contact and requires “suckling” that stimulates the jaw muscle activity that promote 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. They however cause improper tongue positioning and result in forces of the lips and cheeks to constrict the jaws leading to maldevelopment of the jaws.

Tongue Thrusts or Reverse Swallow

Tongue thrusting is the habit of placing the tongue in the wrong position during swallowing, either too far forward or to the sides. The constant pressure of the tongue on the teeth causes the teeth and jaws to misalign. As a result children are unable to achieve their genetic potentials as optimally as can be.

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.

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SmileBay Dental is the Trusted and Reliable Dental Service Provider based in Penang Malaysia. Established since 1999, preferred by MM2H group. with more than 6 clinics across Penang island and mainland.