Facial Growth Guidance

Facial Growth Guidance(Orthotropics®)

We promote alternative treatment therapies for correcting crooked teeth and disproportioned jaws using more natural methods. We believe that ideal development of the face and jaws is dependent on correct ‘oral posture’. Correct posture should be with the tongue resting against the palate, with the lips sealed and the teeth in or near contact. Facial Growth Guidance is a natural way to have straight teeth, a balanced face, and a maximum open airway. It modifies unfavorable vertical growth to more favorable horizontal growth resulting in corrections similar to those that result from orthognathic surgery.

We improve unbalanced faces and crowded teeth by guiding the growth of the jaws horizontally while the patient is young, by means of appliances (Rickinator), and in some cases, using myofunctional therapy.

Facial Growth Guidance (Orthotropics®) aims to:

  • Help your child have a more open airway
  • Help your child have better facial balance
  • Treat the CAUSES, not just the SYMPTOMS

What’s a Rickinator?

A Rickinator is a type of appliance that helps patient’s learn to change their mouth posture, and follows the philosophy of natural growth guidance. The appliance “guides” the lower jaw to fit into the right posture. The child’s muscles do the work of holding the jaw in position – in contrast to appliances like the Herbst, the Twin Block, the MARA, the Bionator, etc., which all work by putting a reciprocal “pulling back” force (i.e., a headgear effect) on the upper teeth and jaw.

How Will Your Child’s Face Grow?

Your child’s face will grow based on three factors:

  • Are the teeth together?
  • Are the lips together?
  • Is the tongue on the roof of the mouth?

Correct oral posture
should be with the tongue resting against the palate, with the lips sealed and the teeth in or near contact. With normal oral posture, the face and teeth will grow optimally. Without this normal oral posture, the face will not grow properly, and any orthodontics will be less stable. If children do not have correct oral posture, their faces will grow vertically and they are likely to develop into teenagers with long faces, flat cheeks, and protruding front teeth.

Traditional orthodontists will straighten teeth but most tend to pull them back, use headgear, and extract teeth reducing room for the tongue. This can be detrimental to facial development. Ideal facial growth, together with permanent straightening of all the teeth, can only be achieved if room is provided for the tongue and the patient is taught to keep his/her mouth closed and swallow correctly.