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For children, every year is an important milestone in their growth into adulthood. This is true when it comes to facial appearance and oral health, too. Genetics, diet, and the environment all play a role in how the shape of our face and position of our teeth develop. Orthotropics is a strategy to guide this process naturally. The word “orthotropics” comes from “orthos” meaning straight or correct and “tropos” meaning growth. With orthotropics, we can ensure ideal dental and jaw alignment by looking at the complete picture (or face), rather than just the teeth.

You may be wondering the difference between the more commonly known orthodontics and orthotropics. To put it simply, orthodontics focus on just straightening the teeth, while orthotropics focus on proper facial development. Think of it like this: the former addresses symptoms while the latter address the underlying cause. By treating the entire facial structure, and not just the teeth, we can help your child avoid a whole host of aesthetic and health concerns in the future.

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Signs Your Child Might Need Orthotropics

Wondering if your child might benefit from orthotropics? Here are some common signs to look out for:

  • Snoring
  • Crowded teeth
  • Open mouth (while in resting position during day and night)
  • Breathing issues
  • Dry lips
  • Thumb sucking

Don’t worry if you’re still not sure. Our doctors are happy to provide an evaluation and give their professional recommendation. Treatment is most successful with children between the ages of four and ten. The younger someone is, the easier it is to adjust their jaw. If patients wait too long to address their jaw posture, the symptoms could get worse and may not be able to be remedied without surgery.

How Does Orthotropics Work?

The main goal of orthotropics is to guide jaws that are growing down and backward to instead move forward into more ideal positions. Doing so results in what we call “proper oral posture,” which is when teeth are lightly together, lips are together, and the tongue is touching the roof of the mouth.

We can achieve this using removable oral appliances called the Hang Expancer and the ADAPT-LGR. The expancer gets its name because it expands and advances; it moves the upper teeth forward and widens the upper jaw. The ADAPT-LGR is an abbreviation for anterior development and postural trainer-landing gear reminders. This second appliance moves the lower jaw in place. How long this process takes depends on how serious the condition was and how well the child cooperates with treatment.

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What Are the Benefits of Orthotropic Treatment?

Orthotropic treatment is a solution that can have significant positive effects on a child’s appearance as well as their health. With proper jaw positioning, it’s possible for your child to have a more attractive face and smile, breathe easier, and sleep better.

Here are some of the benefits of orthotropics:

  • More proportional face
  • More open airway
  • Stronger profile
  • Stronger chin
  • No tooth extractions necessary
  • Alternative to jaw surgery

If your child needs orthotropic treatment and does not get it, it increases their chance of having:

  • Crooked or crowded teeth
  • Older, flat, and/or longer face
  • Weak or receding chin
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stressed jaw joints
  • TMJ issues

Help your child look and feel better with orthotropics!

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