By Ragul Gajendran

Orthotropics is a branch of dentistry that specialises in treating malocclusion by guiding the growth of the facial bones and correcting the oral environment. This treatment creates more space for the teeth and tongue. The main focus of this approach is to correct a patients oral and head posture.

Simply put, Orthotropics is a specific type of “Facial Growth Guidance.” You mean the facial growth can be influenced? YES. Many studies have shown that the way the face grows can be negatively affected by postural changes – for example, by mouth breathing. So, if the face can change for the worse with improper posture, Orthotropicsis basically changing it for the better with proper posture.

the root of the problem

A Malocclusion is a misalignment between the upper and lower teeth so that they do not fit together correctly when chewing or biting. This condition can be described crowded, crooked or protruding teeth and is also referred to as an ‘irregular bite’, ‘crossbite’, ‘overjet’, ‘overbite’ or ‘underbite”.

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Generally, it is perceived that the cause of these malocclusions stem from genetic in-heritage, or physical factors that affect people throughout their lives, like the food we eat, or how often we brush and floss.  But why is it then that, from fossils and skeletal remains, it is apparent that before modern civilisation the human race had near perfect teeth?

The occurrence of Malocclusion appears to have begun when the human race became more civilised, and their behaviours and the environment they lived in changed. None of the other 5,400 species of mammals on earth requires orthodontic treatment and the few remaining indigenous populations also have little or no need for orthodontics.

So why is it then that these malocclusions occur within modern hum civilisation? Orthotropic dentists have proposed the theory that with the introduction of phones, and desk jobs, bad posture changes are present within workplaces. These bad changes in neck, back and even tongue posture have caused teeth to become more crooked and crowded.

tongue posture correction

So, what is the right way to hold your tongue? Let’s start with the wrong way first. For a lot of people, their tongue rests at the bottom of the mouth, pushing against the bottom teeth. Proper tongue positioning is where the tongue rests at the top of the mouth, sitting about 1/2 inch behind the front teeth. Your entire tongue (including the back) should be pressing against the roof of the mouth, your lips should be sealed, and your teeth should rest slightly apart.

You don’t want any pressure on your bottom or top front teeth. Even the slightest pressure over time will move them (this is how orthodontics works!). It is important that the entire tongue presses against the roof of the mouth–Over time this can expand the palate, preventing the crowding of your teeth and opening up your sinuses.

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Some symptoms of improper tongue posture include:

•    Snoring and sleep apnea

•    Recessed chin

•    Improper swallowing

•    Neck and shoulder tension

•    Teeth grinding

•    Improper swallowing

orthotropic treatment

Orthotropic treatment aims to provide space in the mouth for all teeth, including the wisdom teeth. This is achieved by improving muscle tone, correcting facial posture and teaching correct swallowing patterns. Different treatments include using headgear which is bolted to the jaw that promotes the forward growth of the face. These appliances help improve an overbite as they ensure the jaw growth is horizontal and square. Another appliance is the use of palate. Wideners, that open up the space of the top teeth by promoting had palate development which gives more room for the tongue to rest.