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Traditional Orthodonics Exposed (Part 2)

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We have all seen facial damage like this:





These profile shots before and after extraction is the result that indicates less attractive features and how traditional orthodontics are terrible for the appearance. Notice how in both examples of the after photos, both jaws are now too far back, melting away the jawline and making the nose (which is where it's supposed to be) appear larger. 

When people get rhinoplasty, it's not because the nose is too big for the face, but rather the jaws (particularly the maxilla, or upper jaw) is not developed forward enough in the face. Making the nose smaller would increase the chances of a person developing sleep apnea in the future.

Is there an alternative to the commercial treatment of growth-restrictive orthodontics?

What is growth-restrictive Orthodontics?

Before I mention alternative treatments, let me explain exactly what growth restrictive orthodontists is. Any appliance, wether fixed or removable, that either stunts or pushes the jaws or the teeth backward is a growth-restrictive device. Traditional orthodonics attempt to "make room" by pulling-out premolars and pulling the remaining teeth backward to close remaining gaps. Pulling teeth backward in the face will make the lips and cheeks less full, the chin and jaw less forward and more recessive, and can even give the illusion of tired eyes and a sloping forehead, and for some, the development of hooked noses. 

We would never accept a doctor telling us that a child's feet are growing too much and that they are going to restrict the growth of her/his feet, so why do we accept less than ideal treatment for not only the face, but the airway and the TMJ joints? 

Anyway, some examples of restrictive-growth appliances include:

- headgear

- some braces

- "functional" appliances (Excluding various palate expanders and ALF and Crozac, to name a few.) 


Is there a better way?

To briefly touch on my own story with restrictive orthodontics, I had my first round of braces at age fourteen. I have a malocclusion called an open bite, meaning that when I bite down, my back teeth don't come together. I went from having a broad 12 teeth smile (think Julia Roberts) (due to a palate expander by a different orthodontist before I moved.) and being able to breathe properly, to when I was seventeen, only showing 6 teeth by the end of treatment, and despite not getting any extractions (except for one - the gap never close, thankfully. Plan to get an implant after treatment.) I had facial pain almost everyday, severe TMJ issues, and I went from being able to rest my tongue comfortably in my mouth, to have hardly any space in my mouth and developed breathing issues. 

At age 20, and unhappy with my overall profile and wanting treatment for my open bite, I consulted a TMJ specialist (after many consults with several orthodontists.) who gave me a splint to allow my jaws to heal for six months prior to treatment, and said how badly my ortho had messed me up. Still, I was skeptical due to my bad experience but decided to trust him because he focuses more than anyone I know on functionality AND aesthetics. 

A year later, and my jaw has expanded and I can fit my tongue on the roof of my mouth, my cheeks are fuller, and my lips are no longer dished in. And to top it off, no longer do I have jaw joint or facial pain, and I can breathe better. 

And best of all, I have my wide smile back - showing 10 teeth and I can almost see my 12 teeth smile on one side. 

My story is not unique by any means. Thousands of people have gone through similar treatment of restrictive Orthodontics. The facial damage will vary slightly, but the effects are the same - restricted airway, damaged jaw joints, etc.

Instead of going through all this hassle of trial and error and depression, I would have chosen a method called "growth guidance" which encourages both jaws to grow forward when young. 








The results speak for themselves. 

Which face do you prefer? The Orthodontics face or Orthotropics? (Above)

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