Alternatives to Orthodontics

ALF (Advanced Lightwire Functionals)

The Advanced Light Force dental appliance was developed by a dentist who asked a simple yet profound question: Why do some orthodontic techniques create a synergy with the body and others create obstacles to health and function? The ALF appliance was developed with the goal of improving the overall health, beauty and function for the patient while providing a simple, effective and easy to wear family of dental appliances.

Benefits of Advanced Ligthwire Functional Orthodontics:

  1. Corrects Crowding of Teeth by creating more room in the mouth for the teeth to fit side-by-side.
  2. Achieves Expansion in the natural shape of the mouth
  3. Decreases or Eliminates the need for complex orthodontics and braces
  4. Improves Tongue Position and Function
  5. Improves the Size of the Airway (Mouth and Nose)
  6. Improves Sleep
  7. Decreases TMJ Disorder
  8. Improves Bite or Occlusion
  9. Improves Breathing Through the Nose
  10. Improves Sinus Drainage
  11. Improves Overall Balance of the Facial Bones
  12. Improves Posture

ALF Appliance is the treatment of choice for KIDS and Adults who are not experiencing severe TMJ symptoms

ALF Dentist uses the Advanced Lightwire Functional in combination with tongue and chewing exercises (aka functional forces). The orthopedic treatment is ideal for Kids and Adults who do not have significant TMJ or Sleep related issues. The goal of ALF orthodontics is to create the proper space in the mouth for Teeth, Tongue, and Breathing and additionally to balance jaws and facial bones. The ALF is an invaluable tool for kids in Holistic Orthodontics. The ALF is an orthopedic appliance that can correct under developing kids jaws with light advanced forces. The appliance can increase jaw development and create room to fit crowded teeth.

Why is the ALF so unique?

ALF

Utilizing principles of growth and development

The ALF appliance uses light forces to the teeth and gums delivered by an exceptionally advanced design.  The ALF design is based on replicating the forces to the jaws and head that nature intended.  This has been verified through years of feedback from osteopathic and chiropractic physicians who specialize in treating the highly sensitive system involving the subtle forces and influences involving the cranium and the neurological system that it surrounds.

The evolution of the family of ALF appliances has been continually refined throughout the years to their current elegant and effective designs.

As no two patients are the same - no two appliances are the same.  ALF InterFACE providers are trained to select and modify the ALF dental appliances to the individual needs of their patients to take advantage of their strengths and help them overcome their weaknesses.

ALF 1

Comfort, functional and cosmetic advantages

The ALF is barely visible to observers, easy to wear and more hygienic to maintain than most other dental and orthodontic appliances.

The ALF is one of very few dental appliances that provide adequate room for the tongue and is unique in its ability to encourage improved tongue function.

The tongue is nature's best orthodontist and retainer.  Without the development of an ideal swallow. adequate nasal breathing and balanced cranial function, we often see crowded teeth as well as crooked faces, necks and bodies.  Nature intended for the tongue to continually support the roof of the mouth.  However, if a child does not develop a mature swallow as a result of challenges in growth and development, they often struggle with optimal facial and neurological development.

The ALF provides an environment of gentle, functionally balanced support to the delicately interlocked bones of the head by providing a "fake it until you make it" opportunity for tongue and breathing function by enhancing the patient's functional reflexive abilities.  By providing an ideal opportunity for the patient to develop a fully functional swallow while creating more room in the mouth for the crowded tongue, the breath and swallow can better support the body's delicate neurological system and craniofacial development.

The use of the ALF is known for creating an environment of enhanced neurological function and a more balanced facial appearance by harnessing the power of one of nature's most powerful tools: the human tongue.

ALF interface

For more information: alftherapy.com

Alternative Orthodontics with Advance Light Wire Functional

Light Wire Orthodontics in Del Ray Alexandria
  • Advance Light wire Functional is a flexible minimal appliance that has calming effect on nervous system by freeing up the tension in the cranium and supporting the natural restoring balance. It mimics forces with in physiologic range of motion such as mature swallowing forces by tongue. Gentle forces from the appliance work on releasing restrictions between cranial bone. This will remove the healing obstacles and works with patients’ inherent ability to heal themselves and guide the process. The treatment focuses on facial development and overall health. It preserves and improves the airway and overall patients’ posture.
  • This is a functional orthopedic and orthodontic treatment and not a cosmetic solution but straight teeth and a beautiful smile occur as a ‘side effect’.
  • Dental arches develop as the cranial restriction is removed.
  • Dr. Salartash is aware of importance of cranial osteopathy and orofacial myology and works with like-minded team of Physicians, Osteopaths, Physical Therapists and Chiropractors to customize the treatment for each patient and achieve the ideal results.

AFL Appliance Video

The most common way to straighten teeth is by using braces

But there are other ways, non-traditional ones, that address the underlying causes for crooked teeth. Locked up bones in the cranium, mouth breathing, tongue position, habits like thumb sucking, nutrition, posture, genetics: they all have an effect on how the face grows, the jaws form, and the teeth line up.

Using light, flexible wires for orthodontic treatment is more than just a way to create a beautiful smile – it is a preventive health approach.

Alternative methods of orthodontic treatment aim to develop the upper jaw and the mid-face FORWARD. We all have the genetic potential to accommodate ALL our teeth but many obstacles can be in the way. Rather than possibly pulling teeth to create space we work on removing the obstacles.

Growth is our biggest ally when it comes to helping a child develop its full potential and creating stable results. The width and position of the upper jaw determines how much the lower jaw can grow forward.

Facial Skeleton Growth and Ages

At age FOUR the facial skeleton has reached 60 % of its adult size; by age TWELVE 90% of growth has occurred. The lower jaw follows the growth of the rest of the skeleton.

Age 4 Facial Growth 60%

Age 12 Facial Growth 90%

So why wait with treatment and allow the permanent teeth to erupt crooked because there is not enough space? A better alternative is to develop the jaws as young as age 6 (and sometimes even earlier) which will create the space needed for the permanent teeth.

Even when the growth phase is over older children as well as adults can benefit from Alternative Orthodontics.

For over 25 years the ALF appliance (Alternative Lightwire Functionals) has been a powerful tool not only for arch development, but also to release cranial strains and enhance the oro-facial function of patients.

Del Ray Light Wire Orthodontics

Advantages of Lightwire Orthodontics / ALF Treatment

  • gentle, not nearly as painful as braces
  • mostly invisible
  • removable if needed
  • focuses on facial development
  • preserves and improves the airway

Lightwire Orthodontics / ALF Treatment can be used on:

  • children as young as age 5
  • mostly anybody who wants to improve tooth alignment
  • teenagers and adults with pain in the head/neck/shoulder area
  • people with previous orthodontic treatment that included tooth extractions and/or headgear
  • anybody with public engagements who does not want the cosmetic disadvantage of ‘railroad tracks’ / braces
  • anybody who experiences TMJ problems
  • people who snore and/or suffer from obstructive sleep apnea

Philosophy behind Lightwire Orthodontics / ALF

  • main concern is overall health and facial development
  • address the underlying causes for crooked teeth use light forces which mimic Nature, working in harmony with the body
  • let straight teeth and a beautiful smile occur as a ‘side effect’
  • whenever possible use the advantage of growth by starting treatment early, between age 6 to 8

The best time to start treatment

  • in the early mixed dentition, age 6 to 8, when the permanent four front teeth are growing in
  • in the primary dentition if:
    • there is a cross bite
    • there are no gaps between the primary front teeth (upper or lower jaw)

Benefits of starting treatment at a young age

  • children get maximum advantage from Lightwire Orthodontic / ALF treatment while they are still growing
  • when a child has early signs of crowded teeth, poor facial development will occur
  • maxilla follows growth pattern of the brain:
    • by age 4 ➟ facial skeleton has reached 60 % of its adult size
    • by age 12 ➟ 90% of growth has occurred
  • mandible follows growth of the rest of the skeleton

Can Lightwire Othodontics / ALF treatment be used to undo problems created by previous orthodontics treatment?

YES! Lightwire Orthodontics can be used very effectively to:

  • widen the jaws
  • open up extraction spaces
  • advance the mandible

Signs of need for Orthodontic treatment

Children age 5 to 7

  • no gaps between primary teeth
  • crossbite
  • mouth breathing
  • restricted mouth opening
  • lots of facial muscle activity during swalloing

Children 8 years and older

  • crooked teeth / not enough room
  • 'Buck teeth' / upper front teeth sticking out
  • 'Under-bite' / lower front teeth bite further forward than upper front teeth
  • cross-bite
  • mouth breathing
  • TMJ discomfort

Adults

  • pain symptoms: head ache, migraines, neck or shoulder pain, particularly after previous orthodontic treatment with extractions or headgear
  • TMJ problems

Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial Osteopathy is a gentle hands-on technique that encourages the release of stresses and tensions throughout the body, including the head. It can be particularly helpful during treatment with Lightwire Orthodontics / ALF and shorten treatment time.

Orofacial Myology

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy treats a variety of postural and functional disorders including sucking habits and inappropriate oral postures or functions of the muscles of the tongue, lips, jaw, and face.