New Ortho vs. Old Ortho
For generations, orthodontics has been focused on obvious fundamentals: straightening teeth, jaw alignment and eliminating crowding and gaps in teeth. From the first appearance of basic braces in ancient times through present day treatments such as Invisalign, orthodontics has become more user-friendly and popular. In modern times, braces for children and adults both are common and, if you ask just about anyone, they will know that orthodontia, or braces, are for straightening teeth which is most essentially a cosmetic concern.
That’s old orthodontics.
Dr. Buck is part of growing segment of progressive dentists who are working hard to inform the public that a new, modern understanding of orthodontics can improve your health, your sleep and your overall function. Epigenetic Orthodontics which is airway focused is the new orthodontic paradigm that can change your life, not just straighten your teeth.
In practicing Epigenetic Orthodontics, also known as Face Forward jaw development, Dr. Buck follows in-depth research that shows that jaw development problems are largely not caused by genetics. Simply stated, where your tongue rests, and the way you breathe, swallow and sleep are major factors that determine if the jaws will grow to their full potential size, shape, and position. So, before Dr. Buck starts moving your teeth with orthodontics, he assesses your breathing; tongue posture/mobility; swallow function; tongue tie assessment. We assess how these soft tissues may be affecting sleep, breathing, and influence over the alignment of the jaws. This exam is called a Total Myofunctional Assessment, and it tells Dr. Buck how to use Epigenetic stimulation in concert with correct soft tissue stimulation to remodel the jaws as close to their full potential as possible before teeth are moved with braces. This face forward development generates new bone and room for straight and properly positioned teeth. Yes, this epigenetic approach to orthodontics will straighten your teeth, and it does so in a way that creates long-term health in your mouth, jaw and airway. This eliminates the conditions that cause most TMJ and obstructive sleep apnea problems.
Dr. Buck’s use of total myofunctional assessment with appropriate treatment is integrated into all of his treatments. This includes:
• support via professional coaching
• myofunctional training appliances
• adjunctive aids
• tongue and lip tie release
• sleep assessments.
Most importantly, Dr. Buck believes the greatest benefit can be achieved with early intervention, including assessment of children as young as 4-years old. Since breathing, tongue posture, swallowing and chewing cause major effects that stimulate the jaws to grow, Dr. Buck treats children before their permanent teeth have all erupted (ages 12-13) to correct negative soft tissue influence as early as possible. Even in the primary dentition, intervention at this point can make a profound impact on creating a solid foundation of healthy jaws, bite and airway for a child that lasts a lifetime. In old orthodontics, treatment is performed on only permanent teeth, once years of opportunity to improve the airway have passed. With new, Epigenetic Orthodontics, treatment to fully develop the airway has the most benefits while the child is growing.
Due to the widespread nature of under-developed jaws in modern society, Dr. Buck believes all children should be evaluated for sleep breathing disorders as early as possible. As a rule of thumb, no child should snore. That is a warning sign that the airway is underdeveloped. In our modern culture a majority of children do not breathe well nasally at various points during the most active growth of the jaws. Mouth breathing during sleep is a major factor in negative jaw growth. In a very short period of time, an under developing jaw compromises a child’s airway, disrupting healthy and necessary sleep. Growing children with developing brains need optimal sleep quality and quantity. Thus, Dr. Buck believes early orthodontic evaluation is necessary to understand if your child is sleeping properly and to develop strategies to correct negative jaw growth patterns and protect or improve sleep breathing.
Orthodontic treatment for adults has grown in popularity over the years, especially with the advent of products like Invisalign, which makes the process of straightening teeth more cosmetically appealing for adults. Mostly driven by the cosmetic appeal of straighter teeth, this old orthodontics approach does not take into consideration the life-altering benefits of eliminating TMJ disorder or sleep apnea. Most do not understand that moving teeth orthodontically within deficient jaw structure limits the ability to correct certain problems. With the new orthodontic treatment, adults can benefit from remodeling jaws as part of Epigenetic Orthodontic treatment.
Remodeling of the adult jaws, which means new bone formation, is fully possible and desirable using epigenetic treatment. The orthopedic approach of Epigenetic Orthodontics gets to the foundational issues of underdevelopment and corrects it as much as possible to have a better outcome for healthier airways, posture and jaw alignment.
Dr. Buck is committed to teaching the public about this new level of capability available to dentists using an epigenetic approach. Unlike old orthodontics, it is advisable to develop a healthy airway and fully formed jaws so that your straight teeth work as part of a healthy foundation that keeps you free of jaw pain and obstructive sleep apnea. That is the difference between “old ortho” and “new ortho.”