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Myofunctional Appliances

These are specifically for children where there is a major jaw or tooth discrepancy, i.e. the upper front teeth are very proclined and/or the lower jaw is under-developed (common in thumb suckers). The child's profile shows a receding chin, usually with a deep lower lip curl.

This type of treatment is very common in Europe and America, but not in the UK, especially in NHS practices. In Europe between 40-50% of cases are treated with myofunctional braces as opposed to under 3% in NHS practice.

The idea is to correct the relationship of the jaws and expand the tooth arches in the child's growth sprint phase, i.e. girls 10-12 years, boys 11-13 years, by encouraging the lower jaw to develop more and the upper jaw growth to be braked. It also encourages the upper teeth backwards and the lower teeth forwards. The main facial advantage is that it changes the facial profile away from a 'goofy' look to a flatter facial profile.

This type of treatment does create a debate in UK orthodontics, but in my opinion and in my experience of over 20 years, it does work in creating a better facial profile and correcting major dental discrepancies to minor ones that are easily treatable. Also, by expanding the tooth arch, extractions of adult teeth are far less necessary.

If the jaws are in the right relationship, then the teeth also tend to be. 

In cases where the jaw discrepancy has not been treated, but only the teeth position, there is a far greater tendency in later life of clicking jaws and headaches/migraine.

myo 11 before.JPG     myo 12 after.JPG

 

myo 21 before.JPG     myo 22 after.JPG

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