I had braces…why are my teeth crowded again??

Crowded teeth again after braces!

You and your parents spent a lot of time and money having braces to straighten your crooked teeth…and now, as an adult…your once straight teeth are crooked again!  Why did this happen?

The important question to ask is…”Why were my teeth crooked to begin with?”

Actually…it all started with the way you swallow!  When a small child never learns to properly swallow (maybe due to inability to breathe well through the nose), the tip or sides of the tongue press against the teeth, or even rest on top of them.  Constant pressure from resting the tongue in the wrong place, either against the teeth, or on top of the teeth, prevent teeth from being or staying in the right position, even when the orthodontist puts the teeth in the right place with braces. What is so important to learn is the proper “Oral Rest Posture”.

 What is proper Oral Rest Posture?

The way your lips, tongue, and teeth relate to each other while you aren’t eating, drinking, swallowing, or talking is called Oral Rest Posture. While you are reading this blog, the tip of your tonuge should be up against the roof of your mouth (palate) and not against your teeth, your lips should be gently closed, and your teeth should be slightly apart from each other.  Oh…and you should be comfortably breathing through your nose!  If your teeth are clenched, or your lips are apart, or your tongue is between your upper and lower teeth or push against your front teeth…your teeth WILL MOVE OUT OF STRAIGHT POSITION!

So…what is the best way for me to fix my “oral rest posture”?

Like any bad habit, many people would like to correct this bad habit by themselves, with willpower.  However, it is very difficult to think about the posture of your mouth all day long without specific muscle training to do so.  Fortunately..we can help!  The techniques of Oral Myofunctional Therapy (training the muscles of the mouth) are available to teach you over time how your mouth should be at rest, as well as the proper way to swallow.  I’ll bet you didn’t even know there WAS a proper way to swallow…and that’s where we come in.  The good news is that most of the work can be done in the comfort of your home or office, and with plenty of support from us while you are “in training.”

Are there other benefits besides straight teeth to Oral Myofuntional Therapy?

When your jaws are properly aligned, and your tonuge remains in a neutral position, the appearance of your face may improve, some people see reduction in fine lines or a more even movement of the lips when speaking or smiling.  Breathing your your nose rather than your mouth has been proven through numerous studies to better support overall health and sleep efficiency. Also, breathing through the nose with closed lips and toned facial muscles can also help close an “open bite” of the front teeth, which can improve speech.  The benefits are many…so please contact our office for more information if you or someone you know could benefit from training their facial muscles!