What is the Myobrace Kids Expander?
Drs Gary Adams and Viet Le welcome you to our unique treatment center. If your child is in need of orthodontic correction with a Myobrace, you have come to the right place. Most of our patients are kids with crooked teeth, tied tongues, bad posture and mouth breathing habits. We help kids smile, bite, breathe, sleep and posture better by integrating Myobrace and other growth appliances (also called expanders), chiropractic services, breathing exercises and myofunctional or tongue correction therapy. Our treatment helps kids get a better smile, sleep better and live a healthier life. We are located in Vienna Virginia near Tysons Corner and just outside of Washington DC.
The Goals of Myobrace Expanders:
The entire point of orthodontic expanders is to achieve an attractive smile, right? Yes. But there are many important things to know when considering orthodontics and straightening teeth. Myo brace can straighten teeth like orthodontics but that is not the only point. Expanders help the jaws grow larger and create more room in the mouth so teeth can fit properly. If expansion is done at an early enough age, teeth will fit and come in straight. We hope there is not a need for braces. The key is to get the jaws to grow to be the right size and shape first. And only get braces if need be. Most of the time braces become necessary when expanders were not used at an early enough age. Or if cosmetic expectations are high.
All these things are all linked and closely related:
- Straight teeth
- Jaw structure and facial profile
- Healthy breathing patterns
- Overall health
What is the Myobrace® System
The Myobrace addresses the root causes of why teeth are growing in crooked and crowded. Treatment in children can start as early as three years of age. Teens up to 15 years old can also be candidates for Myobraces.
Myobrace is a phase one orthodontic treatment that stimulates healthy development of the jaws and oral cavity. That is why it is very for helpful for under developing kids. Myobraces are removable and only need to be inserted one to two hours during the day, and while sleeping. Healthy Start is system that is a lot like Myobraces.
The Goals of Myobrace Orthodontic Expanders:
- Optimize facial growth, profile and smile esthetics
- Optimize tongue function
- Establish healthy breathing patterns
- Create a stabile bite
- Balance the jaw and facial bone relationships
- Establish healthy posture
Why Do Teeth Get Crooked and Crowded?
The reason why teeth become crooked and crowded is because of poor tongue function, unhealthy mouth breathing patterns and a diet consisting of foods that are too soft. This is why kids mouths and faces do not grow large enough for all their teeth to fit and bite properly. If tongue and breathing problems are not corrected, your child will fall behind again in their development 1-2 years after appliance therapy. That is right, the teeth will get crowded and crooked all over again, if the root cause of developmental problems are not corrected. Kids continue to grow till at least the age of 19.
What are Expanders?
We prefer the use of the term “growth appliances.” They are devices that promote growth of the jaws. Myobrace is just one example. The goal is to grow the jaws into a more optimal size and shape. Teeth will have space to fit. The tongue will have room to move freely. And air will pass without resistance between the nose, mouth and lungs. Growth appliances work by applying a light force in the direction the jaws need to grow. They are not mechanical devices and do not cause pain. The appliance mimics tongue pressure and encourages proper tongue position. Appliance therapy is synergistic with swallowing and tongue movement. Most kids only need to wear the appliances at night for 6-12 months during treatment. The appliances are usually not worn during the day or while eating.
When Do you Need Myobrace Expanders?
- Crowded and crooked teeth
- Poor Jaw and facial profile
- Mouth breathing
- Sleep problems
- Tied tongue and tip
Growth Appliances and Expanders Compared to Braces
Braces are for straightening teeth. Growth appliances (such as Myobraces) grow the jaws to be a more optimal size and shape. Optimal treatment is to first grow the jaws to be the correct size and shape. And then straighten the teeth and balance the bite. Many times during expansion, the teeth will naturally get straighter and less crowded and crooked. Sometimes orthodontics is necessary after expanders, whereas in others, an acceptable cosmetic result can be obtained with expanders alone.
What Causes Small Jaws and Faces?
Myobraces only become necessary when a child’s mouth and face are not growing properly. Poor tongue movement is the root cause of underdevelopment of the face. Tongue pressure naturally expands the mouth and lower part of the face. Tongue ties cause diminished range of motion of the tongue. The tongue does not move out far enough and cannot reach the palate easily. Tied tongues often get pointy and curl down when extended out of the mouth. There is a sequential cause and effect relationship in the following order:
- Tongue Tie
- Poor Tongue Function
- Under Development of the Palate and Nasal Passageways
- Poor Nasal Breathing
- Mouth Breathing
How to Release Tongue Ties
Tongues can be untied with a soft tissue laser. It is very quick, mostly painless and there is not bleeding. The dentist needs to verify the tongue is functioning correctly at the time of the procedure. Untying the tongue alone is not enough. The procedure is called a “functional tongue untie.”
What is Myofunctional Therapy
Myofunctional therapy is basically tongue physical therapy. Tongue exercises to achieve healthy movements. If tongue therapy and exercises are done with a functional untie procedure, tongue reattachment is less than 20%. Without myofunctional therapy, tongue reattachment is closer to 80%.
How to Stop Mouth Breathing
- Remove all Tongue Ties
- Myofunctional Therapy
- Orthodontic Expanders to correct jaw and facial under growth
- Breathing Exercises to restore proper nasal breathing patterns
- Posture Therapy with a chiropractor or qualified PT
Can Myobrace be used Instead of Conventional Braces?
Sometimes expanders can not only grow the jaws but also straighten teeth. But usually expanders and braces will be necessary to get a complete cosmetic result. Many people believe crowded teeth are caused by big teeth in small jaws and hereditary factors. That is not true. Orthodontic problems are really caused by poor tongue function followed by mouth breathing. Sometimes children who suffer from allergies and asthma start mouth breathing and are more at risk for incorrect dental and facial development. Of course eating soft foods can contribute to small jaw growth.
One of the biggest problems with the Myobrace® system is compliance. The device must be worn a minimum of one hour during the day and all night for the treatment to work. Parents need to ensure the child wears it at the same time each day. And every night while sleeping. It needs to be second nature.
Myobrace® for Adults
Adults can benefit from the Myobrace® system. The system of adults consists of a three-stage appliance system that can correct poor oral habits while treating upper and lower jaw developmental problems. The soft and flexible material for the A1 appliance adapts to a wide range of arches and poorly aligned teeth. This makes it more comfortable for those who are just starting with the treatment.
Following the initial stage of The Myobrace® for Adults, the next appliance is used. It is referred to as A2. It is much firmer, which exerts more aligning force to the anterior teeth. This helps move the teeth and jaw closer to proper positioning.
Myobrace® A3 is the last stage for adults. The appliance is made from hard polyurethane. It’s effective for mild malocclusion and promotes proper alignment and retention.