What is ALF Orthodontics?
All About ALF
ALF (alternative light wire forces) is the name given to a dental appliance that can be used at almost any age. It utilizes very gentle forces and is made of a flexible elgiloy wire. It generally requires monthly visits and is not visible as conventional braces are. The appliance itself aids the jaws to grow laterally and forward. This growth trajectory encourages development of the nasal and laryngeal airways and creates adequate space for the tongue to rest in.
The treatment is done in conjunction with two other health professionals, the osteopath and the myofunctional therapist. The osteopath aids in unlocking cranial strains, thereby establishing proper cranial motion and balance. The myofunctional therapist helps to retrain improper oral muscular patterns, thereby reinforcing the proper growth pattern ( ie. correct swallow, lip seal, mastication, head/neck posture and tongue position).
The final result creates not only a wonderful smile but minimizes the chances later on of sleep apnea and tmj dysfunction. Additionally, breathing, oxygenation and overall health are enhanced due to to the forward and lateral growth of the jaws. Moreover, because the teeth become positioned correctly through natural jaw growth, skeletal harmony and correct utilization of oral musculature, the dental result tends to be very stable and retainers are not indicated.
What is Orofacial Myology?
Orofacial myofunctional therapy is an exercise program designed to correct the proper function of the tongue and facial muscles used at rest and for swallowing. These habits are hard to break, and successful therapy results can only be achieved by fully participating in a customized exercise program that is structured to meet the individual's needs. Therapy success is achieved by consistent daily exercises until the patient has subconsciously corrected their improper muscle pattern. This requires constant commitment by the patient, parental support and time. Intensive treatment usually takes place over 2-3 months. Habituation occurs over the next for 3 months, and additional monthly sessions for make up the entire program.
Therapy varies per individual needs. Mini programs addressing certain specific issues are also available. Habit cessation can only be achieved with the proper therapy, and willingness of the patient. Many orofacial myofunctional disorders can lead to an abnormal oral postures. And, orthodontics will be necessary to reposition dental problems that have already occurred. Proper swallowing patterns, establishing a normal tongue resting posture, along with proper lip seal and nasal breathing can assist with stabilization of the teeth during and/or after orthodontic treatment.
What is A Myofunctional Therapist
An oral myologist (also known as a myofunctional therapist or orofacial myologist) specializes in the treatment of children with negative oral-habit issues. He or she prescribes a therapeutic regimen to prevent or eliminate unfavorable muscle patterns or habits. Proper therapy and adaptation to new habits will help create a palatal tongue rest position, lip seal, nasal breathing, proper chewing and swallowing, and correct head/neck posture. Incorrect head and tongue postures, often initiated as early as infancy as a result of both anatomy and environment, are often a major causes of poor breathing, lack of jaw growth and crooked teeth.
What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy, including Cranial Osteopathy, is a system of medical knowledge and treatment that is based on the body's natural tendency to strive toward a state of health and homeostasis (equilibrium). Osteopathic physicians are trained to palpate (feel) the body's "living anatomy" (i.e. flow of fluids, motion and texture of tissues, and structural makeup), and to apply manual treatment where needed. This treatment called Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) is a non-invasive approach to healing that works by restoring normal structure and function to areas impaired by trauma, disease, systemic disorders etc.
OMM aids greatly in arch development and tooth movement by reducing strain patterns and aiding in effective, symmetric, and permanent orthodontic changes.
Watch Dr. Hillel's Informative Video All About ALf