Facial Orthotropics for Your Child
Orthotropics is the science of "Facial Growth Guidance."
Many studies have shown that the way the face grows can be affected by postural changes - for example, by holding the mouth open to breathe, having an incorrect sleep posture, or an abnormal swallow pattern.
As the face can change for the worse with improper posture, Orthotropic treatment is an early prevention, interceptive, non-extraction, and non-surgical orthodontic treatment dealing with correct growth of the face and jaws.
It is an alternative biological approach to retraction orthodontic mechanics and symptom care and instead of pulling the top jaw back, as some orthodontic procedures do, they encourage the bottom jaw to grow horizontally after the top jaw growth has been corrected. The treatment is focused on preventing further lengthening of an already too long face, due to the maxilla being unsupported, and is based on facial beauty rather than straight teeth alone.
There are many reasons for the mouth posture to have been altered from the ideal, and it can often happen very early on in life. Breastfeeding, diet, nutrition, allergies, tongue tie and sleep posture are all factors that can influence oral posture. Orthotropics seeks to undo the structural damage to the face that may have occurred when the posture was not correct, and then to stabilize the facial growth and tooth positions by working toward a habitually normal oral and head posture.
Typically, the upper and lower jaws will fail to grow horizontally. They drop down and back. If the lower drops more than the upper, it can look like upper front teeth "stick out." But normally, they are also too far back in the face, and need to be corrected by being brought up and out. The upper jaw also needs widening to form a palatal shape that will accomodate normal tongue posture, up against the roof of the mouth.
Then the lower jaw is encouraged to grow forward by teaching the child to hold the teeth together, lips together and the tongue to the roof of the mouth. While this is not always easy for the child, it works! The results of Orthotropics are often to be compared to the alternative of jaw surgery rather than to orthodontic alternatives, which often fix the bite by bringing the upper teeth backward. Orthotropics tries to avoid pulling teeth backwards and, in doing so, has been shown to increase the airway size and make the face more attractive than conventional orthodontics.
Dr John Mew
"We can change faces"
Did you know?
Many children with misaligned jaws have problems as adults. If corrected early, your child will not only have beautiful teeth and facial development but are less likely to suffer head, neck and back pain as they get older and airway issues such as snoring and sleep apnoea.
For more information on Orthotropics