Alternatives to Orthodontics

Alternative orthodontics with Advance Light Wire Functional

  • Advance Light wire Functional is a flexible minimal appliance that has calming effect on nervous system by freeing up the tension in the cranium and supporting the natural restoring balance. It mimics forces with in physiologic range of motion such as mature swallowing forces by tongue. Gentle forces from the appliance work on releasing restrictions between cranial bone. This will remove the healing obstacles and works with patients’ inherent ability to heal themselves and guide the process. The treatment focuses on facial development and overall health. It preserves and improves the airway and overall patients’ posture.
  • This is a functional orthopedic and orthodontic treatment and not a cosmetic solution but straight teeth and a beautiful smile occur as a ‘side effect’.

  • Dental arches develop as the cranial restriction is removed.
  • Dr. Salartash is aware of importance of cranial osteopathy and orofacial myology and works with like-minded team of Physicians, Osteopaths, Physical Therapists and Chiropractors to customize the treatment for each patient and achieve the ideal results.

ALF Appliance Video

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.

Alternative methods of orthodontic treatment aim to develop the upper jaw and the mid-face FORWARD. We all have the genetic potential to accommodate ALL our teeth but many 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 the lower jaw can grow forward.

Facial Skeleton Growth and Ages

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.

Age 4 Facial Growth 60%

Age 12 Facial Growth 90%

So why wait with treatment and allow the permanent teeth to erupt crooked because there is not enough space? A better alternative is 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 Alternative Orthodontics.

For over 25 years the ALF appliance (Alternative Lightwire Functionals) has been a powerful tool not only for arch development, but also to release cranial strains and enhance the oro-facial function of patients.

Advantages of Lightwire Orthodontics / ALF treatment

  • gentle, not nearly as painful as braces
  • mostly invisible
  • removable if needed
  • focuses on facial development
  • preserves and improves the airway

Lightwire Orthodontics / ALF treatment can be used on:

  • children as young as age 5
  • mostly anybody who wants to improve tooth alignment
  • teenagers and adults with pain in the head/neck/shoulder area
  • people with previous orthodontic treatment that included tooth extractions and/or headgear
  • anybody with public engagements who does not want the cosmetic disadvantage of ‘railroad tracks’ / braces
  • anybody who experiences TMJ problems
  • people who snore and/or suffer from obstructive sleep apnea

Philosophy behind Lightwire Orthodontics / ALF

  • main concern is overall health and facial development
  • address the underlying causes for crooked teeth use light forces which mimic Nature, working in harmony with the body
  • let straight teeth and a beautiful smile occur as a ‘side effect’
  • whenever possible use the advantage of growth by starting treatment early, between age 6 to 8

The best time to start treatment

  • in the early mixed dentition, age 6 to 8, when the permanent four front teeth are growing in
  • in the primary dentition if
    • there is a cross bite
    • there are no gaps between the primary front teeth (upper or lower jaw)

Benefits of starting treatment at a young age

  • children get maximum advantage from Lightwire Orthodontic / ALF treatment while they are still growing
  • when a child has early signs of crowded teeth, poor facial development will occur
  • maxilla follows growth pattern of the brain:
    • by age 4 ➟ facial skeleton has reached 60 % of its adult size
    • by age 12 ➟ 90% of growth has occurred
  • mandible follows growth of the rest of the skeleton

Can Lightwire Orthodontics / ALF treatment be used to undo problems created by previous orthodontic treatment?

YES!

Lightwire Orthodontics can be used very effectively to:

  • widen the jaws
  • open up extraction spaces
  • advance the mandible

Most common causes for 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 containing ‘dead calories’, lacking nutrients

Signs of need for Orthodontic treatment

children age 5 to 7:

  • no gaps between primary teeth
  • crossbite
  • mouth breathing
  • restricted mouth opening
  • lots of facial muscle activity during swallowing

children 8 years and older:

  • crooked teeth / not enough room
  • ‘Buck teeth’ / upper front teeth sticking out
  • ‘under-bite’ / lower front teeth bite further forward than upper front teeth
  • cross-bite
  • mouth breathing
  • TMJ discomfort

adults:

  • pain symptoms: head ache, migraines, neck or shoulder pain, particularly after previous orthodontic treatment with extractions or headgear
  • TMJ problems

Cranial Osteopathy

  • Cranial Osteopathy is a gentle hands-on technique that encourages the release of stresses and tensions throughout the body, including the head.
  • It can be particularly helpful during treatment with Lightwire Orthodontics / ALF and shorten treatment time.

Orofacial myology

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy treats a variety of postural and functional disorders including sucking habits and inappropriate oral postures or functions of the muscles of the tongue, lips, jaw, and face.