What Is Orthotropics?
Orthotropics is a branch of dentistry dedicated to treating malocclusion, a form of misalignment between the jaws. Doctors who specialize in orthotropics guide the growth of facial bones to help patients avoid the need for orthodontic treatment. At Sharp Smile Center in Portage, MI, Dr. Michael Sharp offer orthotropic treatment with Biobloc™, an oral appliance that encourages proper arch development. Unlike orthodontics, which focuses on straightening teeth, orthotropics naturally guides the development of facial bones to treat the underlying causes of crooked teeth. This method avoids the need for extraction or surgery and minimizes the need for retainers to maintain results.
What Causes Misalignment?
Misalignment between the upper and lower teeth often stems from influences early in life. Factors such as breastfeeding, diet, and nutrition can contribute to facial development, and sometimes, cause the jaws to develop incorrectly. This can lead to misalignment and range of other symptoms, including:
- Mouth breathing
- Teeth clenching or grinding
- Chronic ear aches
If your child exhibits symptoms that indicate jaw misalignment, orthotropics can provide a permanent and stable solution.
Is Orthotropics Right for Your Child?
Orthotropics typically delivers the best results for patients under the age of 10. However, it can still be helpful for older patients. Orthotropics can treat a range of misalignment, such as:
- Irregular bites
The best way to determine if orthotropics can help your child is to schedule an appointment at our office. Dr. Sharp can perform an exam and take x-rays to analyze the way the jaw fits together.
How Orthotropic Treatment Works
Orthotropic treatment consists of several stages. For most patients, the first step is to widen the upper jaw to accommodate the tongue. Our Biobloc device is custom crafted from hard acrylic and metal wires to the exact specifications of the patient’s smile. In the center, there is a screw which allows for easy adjustment of the device as needed. By expanding the palate, this device creates more room for the tongue and better oral posture.
Not only does this treatment straighten your child’s smile, but it also creates a more symmetrical and aligned facial structure.
Once the first stage is complete, we can educate your child on proper oral posture to help foster positive habits. Teaching your child to hold their teeth and lips together and keep their tongue pressed to the roof of their mouth can encourage the lower jaw to grow forward.
The final stage is maintenance. Typically, Dr. Sharp will recommend that patients wear a maintenance device at night until about two years after they finish growing.
Why Choose Orthotropics
The benefits of orthotropics are substantial. Not only does this treatment straighten your child’s smile, but it also creates a more symmetrical and aligned facial structure. In addition, once orthotropic treatment is complete, your child may never need to wear a retainer. Instead, this method of treatment trains the muscles in the jaw and face to hold the proper position for lasting results.
Learn More Today
Orthotropics can help your child avoid extractions, jaw surgery, and extensive orthodontic treatment. Find out more about undergoing orthotropic treatment at Sharp Smile Center by contacting our practice online or calling (269) 344-4004 today.