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    All About Myofunctional Therapy at Our Texas Locations

    At all of our BracesBracesBraces Texas locations, Dr. Shah offers myofunctional therapy as a part of orthodontic treatment. This involves teaching our patients to eat, drink, breathe, and develop better sleeping habits in addition to straightening their teeth. Dr. Shah is a certified orofacial myologist with an interest in myofunctional orthodontics. She is passionate about working with the oro-facial muscles to prevent sleep-disordered breathing and growth disorders by addressing functional issues like incorrect swallowing and mouth breathing. 

    Why is myofunctional therapy important? 

    Muscles are an essential part of the oro-facial complex and have an important role to play in the treatment objectives for orthodontics. Myofunctional therapy makes sure that proper muscle function is accomplished as a part of treatment goals. This includes therapy to help with mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, and incorrect swallowing.

    What are the goals of myofunctional therapy?

    The goal of myofunctional therapy is to provide proper neuromuscular training to oro-facial muscles so that the results of orthodontic treatment can be retained. Not only does it work to straighten the teeth, but it also helps to prevent relapse so that you don’t need orthodontic treatment again. 

    Our philosophy revolves around treating the cause of crooked teeth, which we believe lies in oral muscle function disorders, instead of the symptoms. If we can retrain muscles to the new position of teeth, we can prevent the teeth from returning to their original positions significantly.

    What are the main problems related to orofacial myofunctional disorder? 

    There has been a lot of research lately in the field of Orofacial Myology and how some of these disorders can contribute to improper growth and development. Links have also been found between tongue ties and sleep apnea as well as other airway disorders. It is best to identify tongue thrust and low tongue posture at an early stage. Patients who chew with their mouth open, have texture sensitivities as well as those that take big bites and chew fast can benefit from this therapy as well.

    What can patients expect at their consultation/first visit? 

    At the first visit, patients can expect to have their dental records taken which include X-rays, photos, and a detailed intra-oral and extra-oral dental examination. We are unique in our diagnostic procedures as we also screen for airway-related issues and muscle function disorders, which include improper swallowing and mouth breathing. There is no cost to the patient for this initial examination.

    What would be included in a treatment plan? 

    Our philosophy revolves around treating the cause of crooked teeth, which we believe lies in oral muscle function disorders, instead of the symptoms. If we can retrain muscles to the new position of teeth, we can prevent the teeth from returning to their original positions significantly. Treatment plans are customized to address all patient concerns. Our treatment options include metal braces and clear aligners to be able to address all orthodontic and orthopedic issues. We also use myofunctional appliances to help correct muscle function disorders like tongue thrusting and improper swallowing. Our team is trained in oral muscle function disorder diagnosis and can provide exercises to help with tongue thrusting, mouth breathing, etc.

    How do I know if I need myofunctional therapy? 

    If your tongue rests between the upper and lower teeth and not on the roof of the mouth, you may be a mouth breather and have a tongue thrust. This means you may be pushing on your teeth when you swallow which can make them crooked or prevent them from getting straight even after braces have been put on. We have a complete diagnostic process that helps identify any disorders.

    Do you think you could benefit from myofunctional therapy? Schedule your consultation today with Dr. Shah at any of our BracesBracesBraces Texas locations to learn more!