What does posture and asymmetry have to do with breathing and making the body neutral when it comes to moving teeth?

One problem we have found is that some people undergoing orthodontic treatment have not been concurrently addressing the accompanying myofunctional and postural patterns. The end result is a bite that may be “straight and aligned” but the rest of the body is not. The bite and the body “mismatched” creating stress and strain with a life time of neck and body pain.

It is important that you recognize that the way our teeth touch  and create specific chewing patterns that induce muscle hyperactivity in the orofacial region, of the plantar flexors of the foot and of the cervical muscles. These same muscles indirectly and directly regulate breathing patterns and compensation necessary for unilateral postural dominance.  If we see asymmetry in the face that we can’t easily release with treatment or we see difficulty getting the diaphragm fully engaged, we will need to refer you out to collaborate with other postural, respiratory or physical therapists that understand the connection between mouth and body. Remember, form follows function.

The body’s is designed with a natural asymmetry of the internal organs. This asymmetry is intended to compensate for bilateral symmetrical activities such as walking, but the result is that each person will adapt to their posture in response to this asymmetry. Some will slouch forward, others become hyper-erect and others may favor one side over the other. Problems only occur when a person cannot leave this pattern of posture and become “locked” into whichever posture they initially preferred. This “locked” body position leads to a loss of many references for healthy function.

Through coaching and specifically targeted exercises patients can gradually begin using muscles they have not previously used in postural support, and over time posture issues can be corrected until the patient no longer needs to use these targeted exercises.

Depending on how strong the unhealthy postural pattern is engrained and how committed the patient is to the home program prescribed, Integrative Postural Therapy can be absolutely life-changing.  Please see the videos’ reference to a physical therapy specific program on breathing and posture that we regularly work with during your treatment for the best results.

How the Bite Affects Posture
Physical Therapy and Dental Integration

Although Myobrace® seems like a simple piece of silicone, it is actually quite sophisticated and REALLY moves teeth. Dr. Roca and her staff had their first 3-day training with Myobrace in 2018, followed by two more 3 day advanced training long weekends at the Myobrace center in New Jersey. Dr. Roca also attended a 5-day Myobrace summit in 2020 in the Netherlands and learned alongside many fellow dentists all over the world. Learning Myobrace treatment has changed the way we practice at Arlington Smile Center. We look at everything with a new pair of eyes. It has opened our eyes to so many compensations that patients make when they do not t swallow correctly or have the proper tongue function. They were shocked how much Myobrace could correct malocclusion, improve the direction of skeletal growth and eliminate TMJ pain. The quickest benefit they have noticed is the immediate improvement in deep sleep and how much better the patients feel when they wake up and headaches disappear. Arlington Smile Center has different appliances for all ages from age 2 to adults. Dr. Roca frequently uses it instead of braces.

When Dr. Roca sees a patient she look to their teeth to tell her a story, ask lots of questions and listens to their symptoms and concerns. Many adults have had braces before which makes it so much harder to figure out where they started before orthodontic treatment. Often Dr. Roca ask the patients to bring in baby and middle schools photos so she can see when the changes took place or where they were headed in their skeletal growth before the braces. She also likes to see videos of the patient sleeping so she can hear their breathing and look at their sleeping position. For example, if a patient sleeps with their hands behind their head they are opening their airway to make breathing easier. This is just one of many compensations to help their breathing and which Dr. Roca uses as clues to detect problems with overall health and malocclusion.

Before dispensing a myobrace, we do postural testing to determine if the body positively responds to the Myobrace and if they are a candidate. We take photos of the posture, profile, face, smile, and bite with lip spreaders, the cant (standing with tongue depressor between molars), upper arch, lower arch and tongue position.