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Beyond Braces: How Myofunctional Therapy Enhances Orthodontic Results

Braces and other orthodontic treatments work wonders for straightening teeth and aligning bite issues. However, a new and emerging field of treatment that is also worthy of exploring is myofunctional therapy. Myofunctional therapy can significantly improve the results of orthodontic treatment, help with proper facial development and prevent relapse of orthodontic issues in the future. This article will explore myofunctional therapy, its benefits, and how it can work hand-in-hand with braces and orthodontic treatments.

What is Myofunctional Therapy?

Myofunctional therapy is a type of therapy for the muscles of the tongue, jaw, and face that is designed to address any myofunctional issues that may be interfering with proper oral and facial development. The most common myofunctional issues are inefficient orofacial muscle patterns, such as improper swallowing, tongue thrust and low tongue posture. These issues can contribute to crooked teeth and bite abnormalities, as well as other problems such as sleep apnea, snoring, and even tension headaches.

How Does Myofunctional Therapy Work?

Myofunctional therapy involves a comprehensive assessment of the muscles in the oral and facial cavity to identify any myofunctional issues. Once identified, the therapist begins a series of exercises aimed at retraining the muscles to perform their proper functions. These exercises are completed both in-office and at home and often involve lip, tongue, and jaw exercises. The length of therapy depends on the severity of the issue, but most patients can expect to complete treatment in six to twelve months.

Benefits of Myofunctional Therapy

Orthodontic results are significantly improved when myofunctional therapy is completed in conjunction with braces or other orthodontic treatments. By addressing the underlying muscle issues, orthodontic treatment is more likely to be successful and provide long-lasting results. In addition to enhancing orthodontic results, myofunctional therapy can also prevent the relapse of orthodontic issues in the future. Furthermore, treatment can also help to improve sleep apnea and snoring, as they are often caused or worsened by myofunctional issues. And finally, myofunctional therapy can also help to improve posture, as many myofunctional issues are also related to postural dysfunction.

Combining Myofunctional Therapy with Braces

Myofunctional therapy and braces can be used hand-in-hand to achieve the best possible results. Braces help to move teeth into their proper positions, while myofunctional therapy can enhance the results of treatment by addressing the underlying muscle issues. In some cases, myofunctional therapy can even reduce the length of orthodontic treatment necessary. Myofunctional therapy can also help to prevent relapse of orthodontic issues in the future.

Conclusion

Orthodontic treatment is a great way to straighten teeth and fix bite abnormalities. However, for the best results, it is also important to consider myofunctional therapy. Myofunctional therapy can significantly improve orthodontic results, as well as help to prevent relapse of orthodontic issues in the future. By combining braces with myofunctional therapy, patients are more likely to achieve long-lasting results. Myofunctional therapy also has the added benefits of improving sleep apnea and snoring, as well as posture. When considering orthodontic treatment, it is important for patients to explore the options for myofunctional therapy.