Are you familiar with Orthotropics®? You may never have heard of this type of treatment, but it can help with proper development of the face and jaws, leading to a host of benefits, including improved oral health, better overall wellness, and even a more pleasing physical appearance.
Our dentists in Scotts Valley, Drs. Max and Ariana Ebrahimian, are longtime believers in the effectiveness of Orthotropics® as a means of treatment, and we are excited to be one of the only offices in the area to offer this method to our patients in Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley.
What Is Orthotropics®?
Designed in England over 50 years ago by Dr. John Mew, Orthotropics® is an approach to facial growth guidance and preservation of airway space in young children, ages 4-12 all while achieving a beautiful smile!
The philosophy is based on the premise that poor bites are functional in nature, not genetically determined. How a child postures his mouth (rest oral posture) influences the facial growth pattern throughout his life.
If not assessed and corrected early, poor oral posture can lead to an unaesthetic profile and possible decreased airway space. A narrow airway can contribute to obstructive sleep apnea and if left untreated, it can lead to the potential onset of cardiovascular problems, such as stroke and heart attack, later in life.
Dr. Max and Dr. Ariana Ebrahimian screen children as early as age two for habits such as mouth breathing, finger or blanket sucking, tongue thrusts, grinding, and snoring. All of these habits can cause the upper jaw, or maxilla, to drift down and back, potentially entrapping the lower jaw, or mandible. These habits can also contribute to the mandible drifting down and back.
While some parents comment that their child has “buck teeth,” in reality, the front teeth are almost always too far back in the face. This causes the lower jaw to grow down and back, rather than down and forward as nature intended.
A simple measurement taken from the tip of the nose to the bottom of the upper front teeth, called the “cosmetic line,” can determine the growth pattern of a child before it’s too late.
Referrals and Recommendations
Keeping with their philosophy of maintaining overall health, Dr. Max and Dr. Ariana may make a referral to an ENT, sleep clinic, pediatric allergist, myofunctional therapist, cranial osteopath, or SOT (sacro-occipital technique) chiropractor for a comprehensive approach to maximizing your child’s growth potential.
If a thorough screening indicates that a child can benefit from Orthotropics®, Dr. Max and Dr. Ariana fabricate custom-made, removable appliances designed to reverse the unwanted facial growth that has already occurred and redirect it in a more favorable direction.
Simply stated, Orthotropics® places the front teeth in their proper position in the face, and then brings the lower jaw forward to create a balanced profile, healthy functional jaw joints, and an adequate airway space.
The goal of Orthotropics® is to bring the facial profile into better balance and correct the oral posture that caused the face to deviate from its intended growth pattern. Once these improvements occur, the teeth can then be straightened with braces, if needed.
No other treatment, short of jaw surgery later in life, can accomplish what Orthotropics® can for young children.
Controlled Arch Treatment System
Controlled Arch Treatment consists of two phases that includes AGGA-the Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance & Controlled Arch Braces. This unique approach to orthodontics works with nature — not against it — by providing guidance in reminding the body of its natural genetic intention of one’s facial development. This system is available for children and adults.
The first phase of the Controlled Arch Treatment System uses the Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance or AGGA. The AGGA is an orthodontic appliance that presses gently on the upper palate behind the upper front teeth to help promote forward growth and create space in the upper jaw.
AGGA stimulates a spot on the upper palate intended to “trigger the body’s own built-in bone-building response.”
The second phase of the Controlled Arch Treatment System is the Controlled Arch Braces. These braces use wires that provide a gentle widening stimulus so lateral palate expansion can be achieved for a proper bite and alignment in the upper & lower teeth.
Controlled Arch also creates more space in the mouth for proper tongue placement. While the upper palate is being widened, the upper and lower jaws are being moved forward, decreasing the susceptibility of sleep breathing issues such as obstructive sleep apnea or jaw joint problems, which are known as TMD temporomandibular dysfunction.
Controlled Arch Treatment System not only straightens teeth but also helps the jaws and face to develop properly as nature intended. All this despite environmental influences that have an impact on facial growth.
In our office, Myofunctional Therapy is recommended during Controlled Arch orthodontics as with any form of orthodontic treatment.
Facial Growth Guidance and the Controlled Arch Treatment System in Scotts Valley
If you would like to learn more about Orthotropics®, the Controlled Arch Treatment System or any of the other services provided at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, give us a call at (831) 438-4411 to schedule a consultation.
Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry is here to serve the oral health needs of patients in Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley in California.