Mouth Exercises to Prevent Braces

prevent bracesSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

Most kids seem to end up needing braces at some point in time. Crooked or gapped teeth seem to be the norm these days, and parents want the best for their children, which is why getting braces to correct the issue is usually the obvious choice. What if there was a way for your child to get out of wearing braces or wear them for a shorter timeframe? Myofunctional therapy in Scotts Valley could help your child avoid the need for braces, and here’s how.

Research concludes that the position of a child’s jaw and tongue during their developmental years significantly impacts how their jaws form, as well as how their teeth erupt. Environmental factors such as thumb sucking or using a pacifier and bottle past one year of age also impacts how a child’s mouth forms. These oral habits cause the oral muscles to adapt to negative behaviors that could affect how your child eats, breathes, talks, and looks. Instead of ignoring this developmental issue, only to have it corrected later in life with extensive orthodontic treatment, why not take preventive measure now by having your child follow through with myofunctional therapy in Los Gatos?

What is myofunctional therapy?

Myofunctional therapy uses exercises to strengthen and retrain the muscles of the tongue, mouth, and face. These exercises can only be prescribed by a certified myofunctional therapist with training in the orofacial system and correcting negative oral behaviors. As the exercises strengthen the oral and facial muscles, the jaws adapt to this change and begin growing to normal or preferred dimensions.

For example, say that your child is a mouth breather. Their oral posture probably consists of their mouth gaping open at all times, while their tongue rests on the floor of their mouth. This means that the upper palate or roof of the mouth receives no stimulation during the growth period, which results in a narrow upper palate. You may not think this would be an issue, but it causes teeth to become crowded and crooked, and a narrow upper palate results in a restricted airway that could lead to obstructive sleep apnea.

Myofunctional therapy can help retrain the mouth and tongue to function as it should during breathing and swallowing efforts, as well as exhibiting the proper resting posture of the tongue and lips. As this occurs during a child’s development, their jaws can be guided to proper growth, lessening their need for orthodontic intervention in the future.

Now, just because your child completes myofunctional therapy does not mean they absolutely will not need braces down the road. While this may be the case in some instances, certain cases may warrant the need for orthodontic treatment but to a lesser extent.

How to prevent needing braces in Scotts Valley

If you would like to learn more about how to prevent braces, or how myofunctional therapy can help your child, please contact the office of Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry by calling (831) 438-4411 to schedule a consultation.

Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry provides total oral health care for patients located in the California communities of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley.