Welcome to a new way to fix teeth -- no braces or mouths full of metal.
Dr. Judith Medina uses a different approach. She targets the mouth muscles and all the stuff she says can lead to bad teeth in kids. That includes mouth breathing, incorrect tongue posture and incorrect swallowing.
“We are actually targeting the reason why the teeth are crooked,” Medina said.
It’s called the myofunctional treatment. Instead of braces, kids wear rubber mouth pieces. Each one has a job to do.
“There is the tongue tab, which is the part of the appliance that helps the patient identify where they need to keep the tongue,” Medina said.
Kids wear the device one hour during the day and while they sleep.
“It’s helping me so I can keep my mouth closed and my teeth straight,” Cade Boyer, a 10-year-old patient, said. “My teeth they had spacing, now it’s helping them come together.”
Treatment lasts anywhere from one year to a 18 months. Medina says some patients may need braces at some point, but for these kids, ditching a mouth full of metal is all that matters.
Dr. Medina is one of only a handful of orthodontists in Texas using the myofunctional treatment. Her office is located off 183 near Parmer Lane in Northwest Austin.