Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Westlake Village, CA
It seems fairly common these days to see children grow into teens and end up with crooked teeth or improper jaw alignment that often results in the need for braces. But, did you know that myofunctional therapy could help your child avoid the need for braces? Certified myofunctional therapists in Agoura Hills at Integrative Dental Arts want you to know how this therapy works, and whether your child could benefit from it.
What is myofunctional therapy?
Myofunctional therapy corrects functional issues of the mouth, tongue, and jaw by use of specific exercises to strengthen and retrain the related muscles. These exercises also focus on establishing the proper oral resting position, which is tongue against the roof of the mouth, with teeth and lips together.
Ideally, the tongue, lips, and mouth work together in order for you to eat, chew, swallow, and speak correctly. However, when functional issues are present, these daily necessities become difficult and may even lead to health issues such as malnutrition, sleep apnea, and more.
How does myofunctional therapy help avoid the need for braces?
Myofunctional therapy in this case sometimes is referred to as myofunctional orthodontics. Performing the exercises trains the tongue and oral muscles to work properly, which encourages a wider dental arch, allowing room for teeth to straighten naturally. It also could help improve jaw function or alignment issues.
Also, myofunctional orthodontics incorporates the use of a custom-made silicone mouthpiece that is worn by the patient at night, and sometimes for a few hours during the day. The exercises, paired with an oral appliance works together to help straighten teeth, and correct myofunctional facial habits like a reverse swallow, tongue thrust, mouth breathing, and the like.
What are the advantages of treatment?
One of the greatest advantages of myofunctional orthodontics is that it actually corrects the cause of the crooked teeth and jaw misalignment. Traditional orthodontics, on the other hand, correct crooked teeth and jaw alignment, but do nothing to fix the source of the problem, which is a narrow palate and myofunctional disorder. By only addressing the effects of the myofunciontional disorder and not the disorder itself, your child’s teeth are likely to change again, which often results in needing braces for a second time later in life.
If you are an adult who had braces when you were younger, and now are facing the option of needing braces again because your teeth are no longer aligned like they should be, then myofunctional orthodontics and therapy may be an option for you.
Who is a candidate for treatment?
The earlier treatment begins, the more likely your child may be able to avoid the need for braces as they get older. Not only will this combination treatment help correct myofunctional disorders, but also encourage a more favorable facial profile. However, even adults may benefit from this treatment, although results may take longer to achieve.
Alternative to braces in Agoura Hills
If you would like to explore your options for myofunctional orthodontics or think that your child may benefit from this type of treatment, please contact Integrative Dental Arts by calling (818) 889-0400.
Integrative Dental Arts is proud to serve patients in the areas of Agoura Hills and Westlake Village in southern California.