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Should we brace ourselves? Braces alternative

Dear parents

I hope this email finds you incredibly well!

This term seems to be buzzing past, yet we are having wonderful sessions of music making.

As the voice teacher, I spend a lot of time learning about the mouth, breathing and posture.

Below are some suggestions if you are considering braces. Kindly give it a read before making any decisions.

Also feel free to contact me with any questions.

During the last year or two, I have taken a deep dive into looking at the holistic musical instrument of the voice which is truly the whole body.

I have been looking at posture, feet, diet, breathing and one of the things I noticed, with myself and clients, is the use of our mouths and that functionality.

That brought me on to discover myotherapy which supports the mouth and breathing optimally, both when awake and when sleeping. The focus is to mostly breathe through your nose. Of course in singing we use a combination but correct breathing eases singing and general well being.

This is essential for the development of healthy teeth and jaws as well as treating other possible ailments.

Some personal information: I have had braces 3 times and have had a tendency of grinding my teeth. I finally discovered that this was largely due to mouth breathing.

I got in touch with Dr Reddy, a holistic dentist in Joburg and started on my Myobraces journey. I fall out of the initial bracket as it was intended for children and despite having an adult range the results are very anecdotal and require lifestyle changes but I have seen great results.

My singing has also eased and improved.

Myobraces (initially intended for children) work differently to braces a, put simply, braces move the teeth, which can over time revert back to their old positions whereas myobraces work at the tissue and muscular level to support jaw and teeth which will move the teeth towards a natural alignment but the initial focus is on the myotherapeutic and other health benefits.

One of the greatest perks (especially for adults) is that it is a mouth guard that is to be worn at night time and for at least an hour during the day.

This treatment is available from 5 years and up as it works on the tissue and muscular level and can also be seen as pre-orthodontic. Starting earlier can prevent skew adult teeth. The costs are also significantly lower yet this is case dependent. Please note: it does require doing short exercises to improve habits.

Below are some videos attached with more information. If you are interested in this form of treatment, speak to your dentist or orthodontist or you can contact Dr Reddy on or email him You can mention that I have referred you to him. I have no affiliation or benefit from this – I have just found this to be truly beneficial and a wonderful, holistic treatment of the source as opposed to the symptom (skew teeth).


What is Myobrace Treatment                                           

What makes us different: Orthodontist        

Myobrace: Why it’s Amazing                                             

What is Myofunctional Therapy?                                    

What is a Myobrace System?

The Myobrace System is a no-braces treatment focusing on straightening of the teeth and jaws. It’s a preventive pre-orthodontic treatment that pays special attention to the underlying causes of crooked teeth. This treatment involves the use of a series of removable intra-oral appliances that need to be worn for about 1 to 2 hours in the daytime and throughout while sleeping at night.

Myobrace system is ideal for aligning the teeth of the children between 3 to 15 years. The treatment focuses on correcting the poor myofunctional habits of the children to ensure perfect aligning of their teeth. The habits that usually lead to the problem of misalignment of teeth include breathing through the mouth, the incorrect resting position of the tongue, incorrect way of swallowing food, and more detailed conditions.

How Does the Treatment Work?

Incorrect habits like mouth breathing, tongue thrusting and thumb sucking lead to problems like crowded teeth and inappropriate jaw development. As these habits can be easily spotted in childhood, treating them before the development of all the permanent teeth can assure a child perfectly aligned teeth, without the need of braces.

Myobrace involves dealing with these poor habits, ensuring the child develops the right size jaw and has sufficient space for their teeth to grow properly. With the use of various intra-oral appliances, the Myobrace System assists in correcting poor oral habits. These appliances need to be worn overnight as well for a few hours in the day. They apply light forces that align the teeth and jaws and expand the arch-form correctly.

The type of intra-oral appliance used for treating the problem depends on the age of the child and the type of orthodontic problem. Along with this, a patient education program named Myobrace Activities is utilised to rectify the myofunctional habits further. The child is expected to perform the Activities at least two times a day in conjunction with wearing the Myobrace appliance. Activities usually include various exercises of the tongue, lip and cheek.

What are the stages involved?

Myobrace treatment usually begins with correcting the poor myofunctional habits by using a combination of three or more appliances. These appliances help to rectify the causes of the problems and ensure the teeth grow perfectly aligned.

This treatment can be started as early as three and achieve optimal results. if started at the early age of 3 can give better results. This is mainly because the child is only just developing bad habits at this age, and so it becomes easy to correct them. However, if the treatment is commenced at an older age, then the child will require more time and effort to correct the already developed poor myofunctional habits.

Myobrace Treatment usually involves four stages:

Stage one

The first stage of the treatment is called the Habit Correction stage. This involves correcting the poor myofunctional habit that the patient has developed. The patient may be taught to breathe through the nose instead of the mouth or to rest the tongue in the right position or to swallow the food in the right manner and keep the lips closed when not eating or speaking. As these oral habits lead to the crooked growth of the teeth, rectifying them will help the child develop their jaws to the full size, allowing the teeth to grow straight and aligned.

Stage two

Stage two involves arch development to support habit correction in widening the upper jaw and creating enough space for the teeth and tongue. Children over the age of 7 years, having underdeveloped jaws may be advised to use various appliances and techniques with the Myobrace System.

Stage three

The third stage is known as the dental alignment stage. In this stage, you can expect the use of the Myobrace for Teens appliance to align the teeth perfectly. This is normally used when the last of the permanent teeth are erupting. The patient will have to wear the appliance every day for a few hours and overnight while sleeping. If the desired results are not achieved, unlikely though, the patient may have to take the next step and have a consultation for braces.

Stage four

The last stage known as the retention stage ensures the good oral habits are maintained, and there is no need for the patient to wear a permanent retainer for a longer duration.

What are the health benefits of Myobrace?

Myobrace treatment aims at aligning the teeth by improving bad oral habits like breathing from the mouth. Encouraging breathing from the nose does not just benefit the patient by aligning the teeth but also improves the overall health of the patient. Breathing through your mouth does not filter the air entering your throat and lungs, thus allowing germs and bacteria to enter your body. When a person breathes from the nose, the nose acts as a natural filter, thus restricting the germs and bacteria from entering the throat and lungs. Breathing from the nose decreases the chances of a person developing asthma and allergies.

Myobrace system includes all important education on oral health, for both children and parents, on the importance of eating a healthy and balanced diet. As the children and their parents are taught and encouraged to eat nutrition-rich food, their overall health improves automatically.

Myobrace vs Traditional Braces

The installation of traditional braces may involve extraction of a tooth to make additional space in the jaw for perfectly fitting and aligning the remaining teeth. As far as Myobrace treatment is concerned, the patient does not have to undergo the painful process of tooth extraction.

Another major benefit of the Myobrace treatment is there are no wires or brackets involved. With traditional braces comes the discomfort of wires and brackets that can cut the interior of the mouth, thus making the patient highly uncomfortable for children.

Myobrace is considered to be a better treatment for aligning the teeth as compared to the traditional orthodontic practice of using braces as they offer perfect, long-term results by encouraging natural alignment. As the Myobrace treatment works on the underlying problem of misalignment of teeth, the results obtained are considered to be long lasting or permanent. As far as braces are concerned, the issue may be resolved temporarily as the teeth can relapse or crowd again if the patient does not wear a retainer.

Another problem with traditional braces is the self-conscious aspect that many people experience with braces. Braces can affect the look of a person, making some people conscious about it, in particular, children and young adults. As far as the Myobrace treatment is concerned, the appliance needs to be worn while sleeping at night or for just an hour or two during the day. So, there is no need to show the world you are working on your teeth alignment if you don’t want to.


Sound Regards
Christine van Hees

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