Many children are able to receive orthodontic treatment earlier than you might think. Our dentist, Dr. Merrily Sandford, can provide early orthodontic treatment in Austin, Texas, to help guide your child’s teeth into place as they are still developing. We provide excellent orthodontic treatment for children as young as 4. To learn more, please read on, or call 512-263-8284 for more information.

Traditional Orthodontics vs Functional Orthodontics


The Problem

Traditional Orthodontics have been used for decades to straighten teeth in early teens and adults when all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Traditional Orthodontics are effective in forcing the teeth into a straighter alignment, however, there are well-documented disadvantages to these types of braces.

  1. The underlying causes of crooked teeth are left untreated.
  2. Long-term stability is a common problem with traditional orthodontic methods and treatment will most often result in relapse unless the teeth are permanently retained. Research shows that when traditional braces are used with or without extractions, the chances are they will return to their original position or become worse than they were before treatment started.

    According to the American Journal of Orthodontics – May 1988. “Relapse occurs in up to 90% of cases when retainers are removed.”

  3. Research has proven that traditional orthodontic movement of your teeth through the constant force of braces will cause root damage in nearly 100% of patients. This means that part of your tooth’s roots have dissolved away and some teeth can be permanently lost over time as a result of the forces Traditional Orthodontics put on a tooth.

    According to the American Journal of Orthodontics – May 2011. “100% of all traditional orthodontic cases can expect up to 4mm of root resorption.”

The Solution

Functional Orthodontics is a branch of orthodontics that most people have not heard about. Functional orthodontics consists of not only straightening a person’s teeth but also repositioning the upper and lower jaws to create a better airway and facial symmetry. There are numerous well-documented advantages to these types of braces.

  1. Expand the size of your maxilla and mandible for dramatic improvements to your facial development, airway and eliminate lifelong health issues.

    If you have a retruded maxilla or mandible your bite will be thrown off, your facial profile will be rotated down and back resulting in a small and narrow airway which leads to chronic snoring, daytime drowsiness, TMJ, bruxism, grinding, upper airway obstruction, migraines, neck and shoulder pain, hypertension, sleep apnea, hearing problems and poor facial profiles just to name a few.
  2. Instead of extracting your crowded teeth to make enough room to straighten your teeth Functional Orthodontics expands your palate slowly with light forces and new bone is grown to make room for your crowded teeth.
  3. Widen the upper and lower jaws which creates a more balanced profile, expands the sinus cavity and creates room for your tongue in order to become a nasal breather versus a mouth breather in order to correct sleep apnea and other health and breathing problems.

Dr Sandford and her team know “There are great differences between Traditional Orthodontics and Functional Airway Orthodontics with two completely different approaches to the same problem”.

Keep in mind when deciding between the two different approaches; Traditional Orthodontics give you straight teeth but you might pay a very high cost relating to your overall health while Functional Orthodontics improve your facial profile, develop large airways that will give you lifelong benefits improving your health and at the same time straighten your teeth.

The choice is yours!