An Orthotropics Review
My daughter is missing 3 permanent teeth - a condition I'm told that's inherited, probably from me. I'd looked and looked and looked (no exaggeration) for good answers and talked to many orthodontists. Some wanted to pull more teeth - which didn't make any sense to me. If your kid is missing teeth, why pull more??
I stumbled across orthotropics on the internet. It sounded good, but I needed honest reviews from people who'd been there. I was really hoping to find a parent's thoughts on the process and outcome. Following is the best I found.
This comment is by Mr. Peter Beckwith. His comment was in response to an article in the New York Times, The Costs of Perfecting a Smile, by Karen Barrow on January 21, 2011. If you click the link, you’ll find Mr. Beckwith’s comment posted on January 28, 2011.
Update 1/18/2018: I looked for Mr. Beckwith's comment on the NY Times article and was unable to find it. The comments now stop at January 22, 2011.
Here's Mr. Beckwith's Orthotropics Review:
“The cost of braces runs much deeper than the financial outlay. Many of the comments here talk about childhood orthodontic work that relapsed or created problems with the look of the face, the jaw joints and airway issues (breathing). Unfortunately, the article does not go deep enough into the methods used to achieve desired results.
According to a major university in the U.S. that followed orthodontic patients over a 20 (year) period, only 10% of all orthodontic cases are successful.
In other words, 90% of orthodontic patients relapse to an unacceptable level. Regardless of how you spread out the payments or shop the service, that amounts to nothing more than throwing your money away. Anyone who had braces in the 80’s can simply look at their lower front teeth, see the crowding and instantly know what I am talking about.
The alternative to orthodontics is Biobloc Orthotropics. Google it. It is the only way to go.
As with anything else, a beautiful smile combined with a healthy airway and well aligned jaw joints (which should be the goals of any treatment plan, but rarely is in traditional orthodontics) does not come without effort. Your child will need to cooperate, learn to use correct oral posture, wear removable appliances 24 hours a day as instructed, talk with his or her mouth closed for a short period of time, understand that both jaws will be moved forward in the face, not backward.
Although this creates a beautiful profile in the end, there is an ugly duckling stage that must be endured. In this day and age of 'give it to me now on my terms and I don’t want to do any work or endure any pain,' it is the rare child who has the fortitude and family support to complete this treatment successfully. But, those who do are forever grateful that they did as they were told.
I live in Los Angeles. Looks matter here. Nothing can shape a face and create a smile like Biobloc Orthotropics can. And, its up to the child to make it happen. If he or she has an entitlement complex, go for the fixed appliances and train tracks. You’ll probably end up with flat cheeks, a long face, a smaller airway, a recessed chin and perhap jaw joint problems down the road, but your child won’t have to do anything but make it to the appointments. Biobloc Orthotropics. If you’ve raised a child of character, Google it…you’ll be glad you did.”
Could traditional braces have caused my problems?
When I read about Orthotropics, I found the link between braces, snoring and sleep apnea. I had traditional braces and a headgear - both high pull (covers the back and top of your head) AND cervical (behind your neck). My face is long, my cheeks are flat, and I have a recessed chin. My lower front teeth are crooked – and I snore (a sign of a small airway), much to the detriment of my husband’s sleep! None of the ear, nose and throat doctors I saw were able to determine the cause of my snoring.
(Dr. Bieneman, the Denver Orthotropics dentist we chose to treat my daughter, later confirmed that my snoring and crooked lower front teeth are a result of traditional orthodontics.)
How did braces cause my snoring?
During sleep, the throat muscles and tongue relax. In my case, the headgear I wore pushed my upper teeth and top jaw back, (preventing forward growth). The backward pressure forced my airway to stay the same size it was (instead of growing forward / larger). When the airway is smaller and the soft palate is relaxed (like during sleep), it partially blocks the airflow causing snoring.
When straightening teeth, space in the mouth is often limited. Traditional orthodontics sometimes removes a few teeth to make space for the rest of the teeth. Orthotropics is different because it uses forward jaw growth to make room for teeth.
The video below by Dr. William Hang, orthodontist and founder of Face Focused Orthodontics, Agoura Hills, California, explains it better.
Traditional Orthodontics vs. Biobloc Orthotropics | Our Experience
I have noticed a BIG difference in the amount of pain that comes with traditional braces versus orthotropics. With traditional functional orthodontics (like my older daughter had), there is a LOT of pain as the upper jaw is expanded. My daughter would cry every time I turned her expander. Then I would cry – and we had to do this twice a day until the orthodontist told us to stop. With my younger daughter’s orthotropics, we do a quarter turn every other day. Not once has she complained of pain!
I wish I had known about this treatment when we were looking at orthodontists for my big girl. It's a newer way of treating teeth. It isn’t widely known and there aren’t many practitioners. I do think her orthodontist did a good job (he doesn't do headgears, extractions, or retraction), but I feel orthotropics is far superior for growing kids.
To learn more about Orthotropics and why we chose it for our younger daughter’s teeth, read our blog post, Braces Affect Bone Structure, Health and Beauty.
Thanks for reading Mr. Beckwith's Orthotropics Review!
Amy Takken, RN
Amy Takken is a registered nurse with 20+ years of experience helping people improve their health. Her in-depth skincare articles have been featured on Nazarian Plastic Surgery and The Palm Beach Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery.
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If you liked this post, you'll LOVE these:
Dr. James Bieneman, D.D.S. http://yourcoloradodentist.com/orthodontics/what-is-orthotropics/
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889540600370317 Relapse in Angle Class II Division 1 malocclusion treated by tandem mechanics without extraction of permanent teeth: A retrospective analysis
The Information provided on our website is not medical advice and should not be viewed as such. By law, only a medical doctor can diagnose or give medical advice. As a registered nurse, my goal is to educate, so I provide information on skin care, skin care products, and skin care treatments. If you have any condition that concerns you, please see a medical doctor. While most skin conditions are benign, some – like melanoma – can be deadly. If there is any doubt, please, please consult your physician. Thank you!