When the muscles of the mouth and face do not and/or cannot function normally, the jaws can become underdeveloped, narrowed and constricted, leading to higher risk of the adult teeth erupting crooked and crowded. If not managed early enough, there is a likelihood of the child needing some extractions of his/her adult teeth, and even surgical intervention of the jaws when they are older.
By correcting orofacial muscular dysfunctions using the Myofocus™ Orthodontic System, the jaws are given the opportunity to grow and widen naturally to their maximum unique potential for the individual. This opportunity, however, is only open over a certain window, which is when the child is still growing. As a rule of thumb, the less baby teeth a child has, the further that window is closing. Hence, have your child assessed by the time he/she is 5 years old, before it’s too late. Depending on the severity of the problem, this orofacial myofunctional pre-orthodontic therapy is usually indicated between 7 to 9 years of age.
One of the tools that we use in the Myofocus™ Orthodontic System is the Myobrace™. It is a soft silicone mouthguard that assists in re-training the orofacial muscles to function correctly and allowing the jaws to widen naturally. This simple appliance is removable and only needs to be worn for 2 hours daily while awake and during sleep at night. There are usually 3 to 4 different types and sizes of the Myobrace™ that each patient wears over a period of time, as he/she continues to grow.
Depending on the initial jaw problem, there are various designs of the Myobrace™. The appropriate design needs to be chosen for the specific issue. Along with the orofacial myology exercises, this appliance helps in increasing the success of the orofacial myofunctional pre-orthodontic treatment, with the aims of:
- Tongue up against the roof of the mouth
- Lips always closed, except during eating and talking
- Breathe through the nose
- Swallow properly
Our principal dentist, Dr. Donny, was an international Myobrace™ educator, and now presents about this myofunctional tool extensively as part of the Myofocus™ Mini Residency programs and the Myofocus™ Courses in Australia and abroad. Find out more about at www.myofocus.com.au