Talk to your Child’s Orthodontist about Myofunctional Therapy

talk to childs orthodontist about myofunctional therapyScotts Valley and Santa Cruz, CA

These days, most orthodontic routines involve the standard process of braces, which include brackets and wires, often elastics, and sometimes, additional devices to assist in the repositioning of the teeth or jaws. However, there is one aspect of your child’s orthodontic treatment in Scotts Valley that may be missing – myofunctional therapy. Here’s why you should talk to your child’s orthodontist about myofunctional therapy.

First, let’s take a look at what myofunctional therapy is, and how it works

Myofunctional therapy is a form of oral exercises that train the lips, mouth, and tongue to function properly. This is especially helpful in cases where poor oral posture (like with mouth breathing) or improper swallowing patterns (like with tongue thrust) that have caused teeth to become misaligned. These instances are referred to as orofacial myofunctional disorders or OMDs, which can have a negative effect on how the teeth fit together, and with jaw alignment. The exercises are performed daily for a set amount of weeks until the desired results have been achieved. A certified myofunctional therapist in Scotts Valley is the only medical professional that should prescribe these exercises.

Orthodontics is typically the first line of defense in correcting the crooked or misaligned teeth. Buckteeth, a narrow upper palate, an open bite, or a gap between the front teeth are common aesthetic issues that call for orthodontic treatment. However, in many cases simply going through the motions of orthodontic treatment only partway fixes the issue. You may know someone that had braces when they were younger, only to relapse as an adult. While some people may chalk it up to poor orthodontic care, the reality is that the person’s oral muscles are still functioning improperly. Therefore, their tongue and mouth muscles are forcing their teeth back into misalignment. It is for this reason that myofunctional therapy should be a necessary part of orthodontic treatment.

Make no mistake, orthodontic treatment or braces is certainly effective, it just may not be enough in some cases. Pairing orthodontics with myofunctional therapy, however, could help provide lasting results from your child’s orthodontic treatment. Also, myofunctional therapy could even help shorten the amount of time that your child spends wearing braces.

There are even some cases where myofunctional therapy can be started at a younger age to help a child avoid needing braces in the first place. The way this works is as a child grows and develops, correcting oral posture and muscle usage during this phase helps guide the teeth and jaws into their proper alignment before they have a chance to settle into developed bone.

Myofunctional Therapist in Scotts Valley

If your child is receiving orthodontic care, it is in their best interest to mention myofunctional therapy to their orthodontist. Get a second opinion if the doctor refuses to consider it. Myofunctional therapy is offered in Los Gatos at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, please call our office at (831) 824-5111.

We welcome patients of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley.