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Myobrace System - Sparkle Dental
The Myobrace System Myobrace is an alternative approach to orthodontics for children. 

Myobrace - better faces with less braces

Myobrace is an alternative approach to managing orthodontic problems in children.

This therapy is based on correcting the poor oral habits and patterns that associated with poor jaw development and incorrect positioning of teeth.


Why consider this alternative approach?

In this video, orthodontist Dr Barry Raphael offers a summary of the rationale for this approach. 



Braces are still recognised as the most efficient way to move teeth.  However, when the poor habits that contribute to poor jaw development and crooked teeth are not addressed, the teeth have a natural tendency to move back into their original positions.  This explains why many adults who have had braces in the past have a relapse of results once they stop wearing their retainers. 

In addition, it is most usual for treatment with braces to be delayed until all the permanent teeth are present, usually around the age of 11-12 years.  At this time 90% of jaw growth has been completed, and the window to intervene with poor habits to change a child’s trajectory of growth has been missed.  On some occasions, extractions of teeth may be recommended to alleviate crowding and allow alignment of teeth.

Growing evidence links poor jaw development (narrow palates and recessed lower jaws) to poorer airways and the development of snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea.  Based on the increased health risks associated with these problems, it can be a very rational option to optimise jaw development much earlier in life.


What causes crooked teeth?

Children are born with the potential to develop jaws that can accommodate all their teeth. (The exception would be those children born with a congenital syndrome or genetic disorder).

We now know that how the tongue rests and moves has a powerful influence on the development of the upper jaw.

This is affected by a child’s oral habits and functions, and whether they have a correct or incorrect breathing pathway. This will in turn effect how their genes and jaw development are expressed.

This video illustrates the influence of the oral and facial muscles. 


Factors associated with increased risk of problems including:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Bottle feeding
  • Dummy and thumb-sucking
  • Tongue-ties
  • A history of prematurity, feeding problems or low muscle tone


Goals of treatment

The main goals of treatment are to achieve 

  1. Nasal breathing – day and night
  2. The lips gently closed except when eating and speaking
  3. The tongue resting properly in the roof of the mouth
  4. No activity of the facial muscles during swallowing

When proper oral rest posture and functions are achieved early, it increases the chance of more normal facial and dental development.


Benefits of treatment are

  1. It addresses root causes, not just the symptoms
  2. Improves overall health by encouraging nasal breathing
  3. Can promote better facial appearance by modifying facial growth (if child has growth potential remaining).
  4. It can lessen the need for/time in braces later
  5. Better long term stability and reduced reliance on orthodontic retainers
  6. Easier dental hygiene and less risks of root damage compared to braces


Limitations

  1. It involves understanding of the cause of problems, and patient/family responsibility for the problem
  2. Co-operation must be consistent and persist over a long period.  It relies of patient compliance and patient or caregiver support outside of dental visits.
  3. Ideally treatment should be commenced when poor muscle habits/patterns are first identified
  4. It may not result in a perfect bite, and braces may still be required for final aesthetic alignment.
  5. It may require integrative treatments beyond the field of regular dentistry – eg Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialist consult, myofunctional therapy, tongue tie release to help promote more normal functions.


What is involved?

Myobrace® therapy is a multi-faceted approach that requires good patient compliance to achieve the desired results.  
 
The components of this therapy include

  1. A series of Myobrace® appliances that are used to train the muscles and encourage correct oral rest posture.  These are worn 1 hour during the day, and overnight during sleep.
  2. Orthodontic appliances for palatal expansion may sometimes be necessary to widen the upper jaw.  The benefits of palatal expansion include
    1. Providing more space in the mouth for the tongue to rest and function more normally
    2. Optimising nasal airway and breathing, particularly when the palate is high vaulted
    3. Making more room for the teeth to erupt in better alignemtn, and reducing the need for extractions and more extensive and unstable tooth movements with braces
    4. A broader smile
  3. Myofunctional training activities to actively retrain normal resting posture and function.  These are usually performed for 2 minutes a day and will be aided with the Myobrace App.  

Although we most often see changes in oral patterns and dental alignment sooner, please allow for a 2 year commitment.  Constant repetition is required for new habits to be engrained, and for good daytime breathing habits to carry over into sleep.
 
If your child is not able to breathe comfortably with their mouth closed, they may require referral to an Ear Nose Throat (ENT specialist) for assessment.   
 
If a tongue-tie or a restrictive attachment tethering the undersurface of the tongue to the floor of the mouth is identified, a minor surgical procedure may be required to allow the tongue to function and rest more normally.
 

To find out more

Please check out the Myobrace Website, or book in for an initial assessment to confirm whether this option could be suitable for your child.