Orthotropics

San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA

You may not know about orthotropics, but medical professionals who specialize in this discipline can make a big difference in the oral health and development of your child. Glen Park Dental is proud to now offer services in orthotropics, an approach to facial growth guidance and preservation of airway space in young children.

What is orthotropics?

Developed more than 50 years ago by Dr. John Mew in England, orthotropics is a philosophy based on the concept that poor bites are not determined by genetics, but are functional in nature. Dr. Mew believed that the oral resting posture of a child plays a major influential factor in facial growth throughout the rest of his or her life. 

The consequences of poor oral resting posture may include decreased airway space. A person with a diminished or narrow airway may be at greater risk of developing a sleep breathing disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

OSA can lead to:

  • Chronic daytime fatigue
  • A decline in performance at work or school
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Increased risk of cardiac disease 

Orthotropics is not meant as a method to straighten teeth. Instead, orthotropics restores balance in the facial profile and corrects oral posture, putting the face back on its intended growth pattern. From there, teeth can be straightened through orthodontic methods such as braces, a light-wire appliance, or Invisalign.

How we use orthotropics

Our staff at Glen Park Dental now includes Dr. Ariana Ebrahimian, a founding member of the North American Association of Facial Orthotropics, an organization for which she also serves currently on the board. Dr. Ebrahimian also has trained extensively at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. The LVI is considered the finest academic institution for post-graduate dental study in the United States. Her training there has helped her learn how to treat a variety of complicated issues, including misaligned bite, poor oral resting posture, or a constricted airway.

Dr. Ebrahimian can screen your child for habits that may be indicators of poor oral resting posture.

These habits may include:

  • Frequently breathing through the mouth
  • Finger or thumb sucking
  • Blanket sucking
  • Tongue thrust
  • Teeth grinding or clenching, also referred to as bruxism
  • Snoring

Any of these habits can be cause for the lower jaw to drift down and backward, creating the appearance of protruding upper teeth, a narrow airway that results in snoring, or an unfavorable facial profile.

These screenings can be performed on children as young as 2 years of age. If the screening indicates that your child may benefit from orthotropics, then Dr. Ebrahimian can prescribe an oral appliance to encourage more favorable facial growth.

The goals of orthotropics

With orthotropics, we look to achieve the following:

  • A balanced facial profile
  • Adequate airway space
  • A properly aligned, stable bite
  • Healthier, stronger jaw joints

Orthotropics in San Francisco

To learn more about orthotropics and its benefits, contact the office of Glen Park Dental today at (415) 585-1500 to schedule a consultation.

Glen Park Dental serves patients in the areas of Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco in California.