Have you heard your dentist throw the term growth appliance around and not know exactly what is said? It’s not unusual to have never heard of growth appliance therapy, especially since physiologic dentistry and myofunctional therapy are much newer areas of dentistry. At Firouzian Dentistry, we use growth appliances to perfect your smile so that your jaw and teeth develop correctly. With proper development, your teeth, airway, and facial appearance can benefit. Discover what growth appliances are used for in dentistry.

young asian girl with watering can stands in front of a blackboard with grown chart

What are Growth Appliances?

Growth appliances are used for a number of reasons. For the most part, they help your teeth and jaw move into their desired position. Oftentimes, growth appliances are used to correct improper jaw development that may cause other issues like sleep apnea, crowded teeth, or overbites. There is a different growth appliance for different needs.

Growth Appliances to Expand Palate

One type of growth appliance is used to expand the palate when there is not enough room in the mouth for teeth to fit together correctly. Palate expanders can benefit those who have trouble breathing or snore at night. Once your palate has expanded, your teeth will have more room and your airway will become more open. If you suffer from sleep apnea and a crowded mouth is to blame, treatment with a palate expander can cure your sleep apnea because it opens your airway.

Growth Appliances for Orthodontics

We also use growth appliances to correct the appearance of your teeth. We start by assessing whether you breathe through your nose, have proper lip seal, or proper tongue position first. If not, we use growth appliances to address these issues. With the correction of these issues, your teeth will also start to straighten out.

Growth Appliances for Thumb Sucking

A common problem among children is thumb sucking. Thumb sucking can lead to a wide range of dental problems including jaw development and bite problems. If your child continues to suck their thumb past three years old, it’s likely they will suffer severe dental problems down the line. If traditional tips don’t kick your child’s habit, a thumb-sucking growth appliance can stop your child from sucking their thumb.

Growth Appliances for Tongue Habits

The resting position of your tongue is supposed to be at the roof of your mouth. When your tongue position is incorrect while swallowing, talking or eating, it can cause the mouth to develop abnormally. This can lead to crowded teeth, rotated teeth, or gapped teeth. We can use a growth appliance to correct the tongue position and retrain it to stay there. Ideally, this is a good treatment to prevent dental problems from occurring in children. In the case of an adult, we would use a growth appliance and then correct the other dental issues using facial growth orthodontics.

Now that you know what growth appliances are for, you can ask Dr. Firouzian more questions during your appointment. If you think you would benefit from a growth appliance or want to learn more, please contact us at (614) 848-5001.