Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz, CA
Designed in England over 50 years ago by Dr. John Mew, Orthotropics® is an approach to facial growth guidance and preservation of airway space in young children, ages 4-12. The philosophy is based on the premise that poor bites are functional in nature, not genetically determined. How a child postures his mouth (rest oral posture) influences the facial growth pattern throughout his life. If not assessed and corrected early, poor oral posture can lead to an unaesthetic profile and possible decreased airway space. A reduction in airway can contribute to obstructive sleep apnea and associated cardiovascular problems such as stroke and heart attack later in life.
Dr. Max and Dr. Ariana screen children as early as age two for habits such as mouth breathing, finger or blanket sucking, tongue thrusts, grinding, and snoring. All of these habits can cause the upper jaw, or maxilla, to drift down and backwards. While some parents comment that their child has “buck teeth,” in reality, the front teeth are almost always too far back in the face. This causes the lower jaw to grow down and back, rather than down and forward like nature intended. A simple measurement taken from the tip of the nose to the bottom of the upper front teeth, called the Cosmetic Line, can determine the growth pattern of a child before it’s too late.
Keeping with their philosophy of maintaining overall health, Dr. Max and Dr. Ariana may make a referral to an ENT, sleep clinic, pediatric allergist, myofunctional therapist, cranial osteopath, or SOT chiropractor for a comprehensive approach to maximizing your child’s growth potential.
If a thorough screening indicates that a child can benefit from Orthotropics®, Dr. Max and Dr. Ariana fabricate custom-made, removable appliances designed to reverse the unwanted facial growth that has already occurred and redirect it in a more favorable direction. Simply stated, Orthotropics® places the front teeth in their proper position in the face, and then brings the lower jaw forward to create a balanced profile and an adequate airway space.
Orthotropics® is not intended to straighten the teeth. Rather, the goal is to bring the facial profile into better balance and correct the oral posture that caused the face to deviate from its intended growth pattern. Once these improvements occur, the teeth can then be straightened with braces. No other treatment, short of jaw surgery later in life, is able to accomplish what Orthotropics® can for young children.