Myofunctional therapy is an approach to developing your jaw and throat to straighten teeth, expand the jaw, and improve swallowing and airway function. Often, this approach allows children, and even adults to get straighter teeth without the need for braces or surgery. It can help prevent or treat conditions like TMJ and snoring or sleep apnea.

If you would like to learn more about this remarkable approach to improving jaw development in New City, please call (845) 634-6006 today for a myofunctional therapy appointment at New City Family Dental.

Mature woman smiling

The Principles of Myofunctional Therapy

All orthodontic treatments are based on the same principle: under the constant application of pressure, your body will reshape bones to reduce pressure. There are many ways that orthodontics can apply this pressure. Metal brackets and wires is the traditional braces method, but Invisalign accomplishes the same effect using clear plastic aligners.

Myofunctional therapy in New City utilizes the muscles of your jaw, throat, and mouth–especially the tongue–to apply the force. This is, really, a natural extension of our understanding of how the jaw develops in the first place.

Our jaw grows under the influence of many forces that stimulate it. The tongue pushes outward, and the cheeks push inward to create a balance of force that establishes the curve of your arch. The force of biting, chewing, and swallowing, stimulate the growth of the jaw.

In prehistoric times, people developed larger jaws because of these forces, but in modern times changes have led to less development of the jaw. Eating a softer diet reduces the amount of chewing we do on hard foods, which, in turn, leads to less jaw stimulation and growth. Mouth breathing, often influenced by the prevalence of so many allergens in the modern home, puts the tongue in a poor position where it can’t properly push outward on the jaw, leading to a narrow, crowded arch.

By teaching people how to use their tongue and other swallowing muscles, myofunctional therapy seeks to undo the effects of these modern changes.

Positive Effects of Myofunctional Therapy New City

Myofunctional therapy has many potential benefits, including the improvement of:

  • Open bite
  • Crooked teeth
  • TMJ
  • Underbite
  • Speech problems
  • Snoring and sleep apnea
  • Facial appearance

And many more conditions related to poor development of the jaw and teeth. Myofunctional therapy accomplishes these effects by:

  • Training oral muscles to swallow properly
  • Obtaining a normal resting posture of oral muscles
  • Encourage nasal and diaphragm breathing

By learning some of these techniques, myofunctional therapy can accomplish dramatic results. Best of all, the techniques are either habits you learn and practice constantly without conscious thought or simply exercise for a few minutes a day. It’s time and persistence that do the work.

Is Myofunctional Therapy an Alternative to Braces?

Yes, in some cases, people treated with myofunctional therapy may not need to get braces to achieve their desired results. Early detection of breathing and bite problems in children can lead to the best results and make it most likely that braces or other orthodontic treatments won’t be necessary.

However, myofunctional therapy can also be used as an adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It can help ensure optimal results, and help those results develop more quickly. And it can make sure that orthodontic results are more stable.

Would you like to learn how myofunctional therapy can help you? Please email us or call (845) 634-6006 today for an appointment at New City Family Dental.