The most common way to straighten teeth is by using braces. But there are other ways, non-traditional ones, that address the underlying causes for crooked teeth. Locked up bones in the cranium, mouth breathing, tongue position, habits like thumb sucking, nutrition, posture, genetics: they all have an effect on how the face grows, the jaws form, and the teeth line up.
Using light, flexible wires for orthodontic treatment is more than just a way to create a beautiful smile – it is a preventive health approach.
Lightwire Orthodontics aim to develop the upper jaw and the mid-face FORWARD. We all have the genetic potential to accommodate ALL our teeth but a lot of obstacles can be in the way. Rather than possibly pulling teeth to create space we work on removing the obstacles.
Growth is our biggest ally when it comes to helping a child develop its full potential and creating stable results. The width and position of the upper jaw determines how much forward the lower jaw can grow.
At age FOUR the facial skeleton has reached 60 % of its adult size; by age TWELVE 90% of growth has occurred. The lower jaw follows the growth of the rest of the skeleton.
So why wait with treatment and allow the permanent teeth to come in crooked because there is not enough space? It is much better to develop the jaws as young as age 6 (and sometimes even earlier) which will create the space needed for the permanent teeth.
Even when the growth phase is over older children as well as adults can benefit from Lightwire Orthodontics.
Much less painful than braces
Removable when necessary
Barely visible which makes it cosmetically pleasing
Focused on facial development
Preserving and improving the airway
Using a whole body approach: rather than dictating the position of every single tooth we use minimal force to allow the teeth to settle in a neutral zone. This makes the long-term results more stable.
Orthopedic effects: working on the teeth by affecting the facial bones
Addressing some of the underlying causes for misaligned teeth and bite problems:
tongue posture and swallowing
breathing and lip seal
nutrition and chewing
Straight teeth and a beautiful smile as a natural treatment outcome
A beautiful smile, boosting self-confidence and acceptance
Well-developed faces, minimizing the risk for TMJ problems
Improved airway health, reducing the risk for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea
Dr. Darick Nordstrom, general dentist in Hollister, CA, developed the ALF appliance in the mid '80s while working together with osteopaths.
Listen to his talk here:
More about ALF:
When we use modified lightwire appliances we are standing on the shoulders of giants:
George Crozat, DDS, used soldered wire appliances as early as 1919; Dr. Albert Wiebrecht, also a general dentist, developed new applications for the 'Crozat' and started teaching his method in the early 1960's; Dr. Robert Kernott of Solvang, CA, developed the 'Universal', and many other pioneers made great contributions getting us to where we are now ...
The original design ideas can be modified by using lighter, more flexible wires which makes them more 'cranial-friendly'.
AAGO (American Academy of Gnathologic Orthopedics): where the - mostly general - dentists meet sharing their not so traditional approaches: