Orthotropic treatment is natural and permanent but hard work. This approach requires considerable commitment from the patient and practitioner alike. We avoid extractions and forcing teeth into position. We create space within the mouth for the teeth and then, using correct posture and strong facial muscles, let the tongue and lips naturally align the teeth, as our ancestor did from the dawn of time up until modern civilisation.
The treatment process is broken into three distinct phases:
This first phase of treatment aims to expand the jaws and create space for the tongue in the roof of the mouth. This phase uses upper and lower removable appliances. These may also be supplemented with head or neck gear.
This initial treatment creates a temporary malocclusion where the front teeth stick out and the upper jaw appears to be too wide. This will alarm uninformed dentists and orthodontists. It is however a normal part of this treatment and will be corrected during the second phase.
The second phase of treatment aims to teach a patient correct jaw posture and improve facial muscle tone. Over time, with good compliance, this correct posture will become the patient’s default resting position. This correct positioning will in turn allow natural alignment of the teeth and affect the craniofacial structure.
This training is carried out using removable appliances that constantly remind a patient to hold their jaw correctly and ensure good oral posture is assumed at all times. These appliances must be worn for 18-22 hours per day for approximately 18 months.
During this final period the training brace is worn at night only. Myofunctional exercises are given to improve the function and posture of the lips and tongue. During this phase we also occasionally use discrete reminder appliances in the lower jaw.
To ensure that every child maximizes the opportunity orthotropic treatment offers them we monitor treatment carefully, children all respond differently. We may recommend additional therapies to aid the orthotropic treatment. These may include Cranial Osteopathy, Orofacial Myology, Various posture therapies as well as Buteyko breathing techniques.
The success of a course of orthotropic treatment is dependent upon the compliance of the patient. We provide the tools, guidance and opportunity to create this change but ultimately the results are down to the individual.
20 hours of wear of the training appliance is expected and required to achieve optimal results. These appliances are fitted with timers and wear will be monitored. If a patient does not wear an appliance as much as instructed the treatment will take longer and may not achieve the desired results.
Orthotropic treatment requires a significant level of commitment from both patients and their parents/carers. It is vital for a parent to attend every appointment with their child.
During Phase 1 of treatment patients will need to attend the clinic once every two weeks. During the latter phases of the treatment this reduces gradually down to approximately once every eight weeks, and finally quarterly visits.