I am 1.5 years into this process of reversing extraction orthodontics.
Estimating around 6 more months to go.
On the upper arch I have already re-opened 7 mm of space for bicuspids. (you need around 7.5mm of space for implant)
On the bottom I am around 6 mm.
So at this point I am already 90% there as far as re-opening the space for the bicuspids. And I’m 24 years old. Most orthos will tell you it can’t be done, but I am proof it can. They may tell you as an adult you have stopped growing, however the truth is even as adults humans never stop growing. We are constantly replacing our cells, and with appliances it is possible to create new bone growth at the suture that runs in the middle of the maxilla, gradually over time your palate itself actually gets wider.
I just came back from my monthly appointment, I am no longer using expanding appliances(I have been expanding for 1.5 years already), and now I am in braces bottom and top. These are not your traditional braces that uses heavy forces with rubber bands, these are similar to DAMON braces that uses light wire force with self-litigating brackets.
Changes I am noticing thus far…and other insights
- As we expanded the maxilla with the appliance, the maxilla (upper palate) came forward. My face looks better as a result. More cheekbones, wider face, better symmetry in the eyes, also more opening in the sinus cavity thus better breathing, my chronic stuffed left nostril is mostly gone now.
- All the numerous psychological issues, I had with my looks, that came after retraction orthodontics is getting resolved.
- we pushed the front teeth forwards, since they have been pushed back from trying to close the extraction spaces, as we moved the teeth forward and tipped them outwards, my lips have become fuller and more attractive.
- since I am able to breath through my nose now, I am becoming a nose breather instead of mouth breather. This is significant because it is when we chronically keep our mouth open to breathe, the face grows downwards, instead of forward. This is also the #1 cause of crooked teeth. (NOT nutrient deficiency or poor Genetics)
- Also as my palate has been expanded to more of normal size, I now have room to rest my tongue at the roof of the mouth when I have my mouth shut. This is very important… Once enough expansion has been done, it is crucial to adopt proper tongue posture, with tongue at the roof of mouth, this is nature’s natural retainer. if tongue is not resting at the roof, the teeth & palate will collapse again from pressure of the cheeks… to prevent this from happening we use retainers but that is a poor substitute for underlying problem which is we are keeping the tongue too low in the mouth.
- The tongue is pound for pound strongest muscle in the body. It’s force needs to be directed up and forward on the upper palate to have the profile of models, which is the maxilla placed very forward in the face, This is the seat of facial beauty and responsible for the high cheekbones, facial symmetry, perfect dental arches.
- Most cases of crooked teeth, a good orthodontist will also see that the maxilla is too far down and back in the face, which tells you that the tongue is not properly resting on the roof of the mouth to keep the maxilla up and forward which is the the cause of crooked teeth. Most orthodontists don’t know the cause of crooked teeth, they are treating symptoms without addressing the cause.
- As my maxilla came forward, so did my mandible (lower jaw), I now have better, more visible jaw line.
- As the tongue is doing its job and guiding the forward growth of face, the tongue has plenty room now in the mouth, the child will grow up without symptoms of snoring / sleep apnea which is caused by tongue having not enough space in the mouth and it falling into the airway (back of mouth) during sleep. The true cure for sleep apnea is to grow a better face (in kids) and as an adult well the goal is to remodel into a better face.
- Good looking faces are faces that grew horizontal, because the child had proper oral posture. (Mouth closed at rest with tongue on the roof of mouth and proper swallowing) more info here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvoX_wEtwDk
- So as my mouth is shut at rest/subconsciously and tongue resting on the roof of mouth, and sometimes pressing against the spot in the gums right above the two front teeth(alveolar ridge), I am noticing very subtle changes in the face, I presume this is my maxilla being pushed forward by the tongue.
- Other people use this technique to create forward growth in the maxilla. http://jawpain-tmjtreatment.com/
- I was doing the above technique for over a year but recently stopped since I stopped seeing drastic results and I got into braces so its not stable to do atm, however with above face pulling technique, my cheekbones did become more prominent as explained however this was before I understood the importance of the tongue. Right now I am only using my tongue to encourage more forward growth in the maxilla and it seems to be doing wonders. (If anything that site should be another evidence for the importance of forward growth in the maxilla however way we use to get that to happen, seems to have positive results on faces)
- Maxilla is the most important bone in the face when we are talking about creating better looking faces. See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPp06x9BtEw
- What is wrong with current orthodontics is that they align teeth by pushing everything back, especially if they do extractions. This causes vertical growth in the face, NOT horizontal growth. So it is quite opposite of what you want when we are talking about creating better looking faces.
- If you look at movie actors and famous models, they have a face that are wide, and horizontal with their jawline almost horizontal, with prominent cheekbones and wide dental arch. If tongue is resting properly at the roof of mouth, the child most likely will never need braces and have perfectly formed dental arches. That is what the human skull is suppose to look like, and what our ancestors looked like, but since we adopted soft foods and many allergies in the modern diet, we get clogged noses as children or weak jaw muscles, we are more prone to leaving our mouths open at rest or during sleep, this is the worst thing for the face because now there is no tongue supporting maxilla to be up and forward in the face also the tongue is not there to push out the dental arch, on the contrary the cheeks will now begins to push in on the teeth and you have beginnings of teeth crowding. Eventually the maxilla will also begin to drop down and back which creates the long narrow face that is not as attractive as the horizontal shorter faces.
- Feed your baby tougher foods so that they can develop the jaw muscles from young, but now we feed them nothing but mushed foods. This is a big reason, why our ancestors that ate tougher foods have better teeth than we do.
- Malocclusion or crooked teeth was virtually non-existent in the ancient skulls found of our ancestors, archeologists will tell you that crooked teeth began right when we transitioned from hunter & gatherer society to agricultural society. The main difference is we went from eating tough foods to eating soft foods that allows stomach to be full easier such as cooked potato, rice,etc. With modernized diet things get worse because now we can intake high calories with even less chewing with things like smoothies, fruit juices, soda, and all the myriad of mushy/tender/soft foods we eat now. We began chewing a lot less. Dr. Mew estimates we do 5% of the chewing our ancestors did. Bone adapts to usage as astronauts would tell you, few months in zero gravity means there is actual bone loss from lack of usage.
- Is it possible to change the jaws towards more ideal shape in adults? Dr. Mew thinks so. He says as an adult since he has committed himself to proper oral posture he is better looking now then he was 7 years ago.
- Since I adopted proper oral posture through the past year, I can tell you my face is definitely getting better looking.
- Stephen Hawking was once a normal man, but because of his diseases causes paralysis, causing Muscular dystrophy where the muscles just become weak. This has tremendous impact on the shape of skull. Another example that my doctor told me was that there was a girl that got into a bad car accident that caused her to be in a bed ridden, some form of paralysis that caused her to leave her mouth open, and unable to chew food. This made her jaw muscles weak and with her mouth open all the time, after a while there was tremendous negative effect on her entire face.
- Bone is like plastic, it is the muscles of the jaws and tongue that can positively or negatively effect your skull/face.
- If that much can go wrong in adults, then it should mean that if we adopt proper oral posture we can reshape our skulls towards more positive results as well.
- The number one key is to keep your mouth shut at rest, with teeth together (or near touching), and the tongue resting at the roof of your mouth. Also swallowing with tongue sealing the alveolar ridge spot in the gum(I also play with pressing on the alveolar ridge with my tongue), the spot right behind the two front teeth. Lastly, do more chewing! Jaw muscles (described as good muscle tone) is what will assist in keeping the tongue up there on the roof of mouth and help to keep the mouth shut during rest and sleep, also help to reshape the lower jaw towards more horizontal jaw if regularly exercised. It is not how hard you can bite but how often you use the jaw muscles through out the day that will help to reshape the jaw. To start I recommend remembering to chew your food thoroughly and incorporating tougher foods is always a plus also chewing gum more frequently is what Dr. Mew suggests, currently I use mouth guard to for jaw training for few minutes a day.
However all of this takes plenty of effort and dedication from the individual, I presume most will not go the distance, to test this out. Personally, I have great passion for this so I know I will put in the effort, and I will document the changes overtime on this blog.
This is all for now.
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