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ALF is more than just a way to create a beautiful smile; it is a preventive approach to improve your health. Using light flexible wires that are gentler to the cranium, ALF aims to develop the upper jaw and the midface forward — in most cases avoiding the extraction of permanent teeth.
Benefits include a beautiful smile, a well-developed face, minimized risk of TMJ problems, and improved airway health, reducing the risk for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
The width and position of the upper jaw determines how far forward the lower jaw can go. At age 4, the facial skeleton has reached 60% of its adult size; by age 12, 90% of growth has occurred. There is no reason to wait until 90% of growth has occurred. Teeth will come in crooked, and it is better to develop the jaws as young as possible — this will allow the space needed for permanent teeth.
Children get the most benefit out of orthodontic treatment if they start when their faces are still growing. This happens between the ages of 7 to 9, sometimes even earlier. Factors including locked up bones in the cranium, mouth breathing, tongue position, habits like thumb sucking, nutrition, posture, genetics — all these have an effect on how the face grows, the jaws form, and the teeth line up.
WHO BENEFITS FROM ALF ORTHODONTICS
- Children in the early mixed dentition
- Children with crossbites, and when there are no gaps between the primary front teeth
- Buck teeth, underbites
- Anyone that wants to improve tooth alignment
- People with previous orthodontic treatment that included tooth extractions or headgear
- People who experience TMJ problems
- Mouth breathers
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF CROOKED TEETH
- Low tongue posture and non-functional swallowing
- Restricted airway and mouth breathing
- Cranial strains, stresses and tensions in the head and neck area
- Poor diet
ALF THERAPY, CRANIAL OSTEOPATHY AND OROFACIAL MYOLOGY
ALF orthodontics works best when done in combination with Cranial Osteopathy because it releases stress and tension throughout the body, including head tension.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) can be described as the neuromuscular reeducation of the oral facial muscles. It promotes the stability of the mouth, jaws and closely related structures, called the stomatognathic system.
When the tongue is resting against the roof of the mouth, it enhances and creates stability for the jaw joint. The tongue is the best jaw joint stabilizer. Another function of the tongue is to protect the airway. If the tongue is habitually resting down and forward in the lower jaw, normal form and function is disrupted. This may happen with obstructed airways, restricted frenums, (fold of skin beneath the tongue), upper lip tie (upper lip is attached to upper gum) or excessive sucking of bottles, pacifiers, or fingers.
OMT specialists are trained to promote functional posture with behavior modification. The goals for the patient are to become aware of harmful habits, eliminate them and achieve nasal breathing, keeping lips properly sealed and chewing properly.
Learn More About ALF – Educational Resources
- Early Treatment with the ALF Functional Appliance
- Introducing the Advanced Light Force (ALF) Appliance
- The ALF (Advanced Lightwire Functional Appliance) Creating Facial Beauty and Balance
- Orthodontics without extractions
- Is it Mental or is it Dental? Cranial and Dental Impacts on Total Health
- Feature The Significance of Cranial Factors in Diagnosis and Treatment with the Advanced Lightwire Functional Appliance
- Mouth vs Nasal Breathing
- TONGUE TIE and BEYOND
- Rapid Improvement of Enlarged Tonsils Following Treatment with an ALF (Advanced Light Force) appliance
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