Do you or your child have crooked teeth? Look carefully as often the problem is not the teeth themselves. The solution often starts with correcting the narrow upper and lower jaws that hold these teeth.
One of the ways to correct narrow jaws, especially in patients less than 18 years of age is the use of dental plates that widen the jaw over time. This service is called removable dental orthopaedics and involves any appliance whose primary role is to develop and grow more of the jaw bone than has currently occurred. There are many different types of removable appliances available including the Gallela Removable and SOMA dental appliance.
In the clinical photographs show an example of a removable dental orthopaedic appliance, and a teenager who had her jaw dramatically widened over a period of just 12 months. Please note that she only needed to use these appliances at night time and during the day there was nothing glued on or attached to her teeth or jaw.
The advantages of considering jaw orthopaedics BEFORE any tooth straightening is considered are:
1) The jaw widening is actually creating jaw bone to make the teeth fit into the dental arches. Without extra jaw growth, many healthy teeth in the past would of been removed just to make room to provide you with “straight teeth”.
2) By widening the jaw we are correcting many cranial issues that exist. Osteopaths frequently treat narrow upper jaws (called the maxilla) by using their hands to treat-out cranial strains. By using dental orthopaedic appliances we can help you get there faster.
3) Many patients have commented that they start to sleep better, breathe better and wake up with more energy in the morning!
This third advantage is amazing in our opinion as we start to relieve a significant amount of muscle tension that exists in the narrow jaw. Also the better breathing happens because we are actually widening the base of the nose allowing more air to enter the nostrils.
Whenever possible we always strive to establish a stable long term foundation for your teeth and smile. This can only occur when the underlying breathing, sleeping and poor oral habits are addressed at the same time!