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If you haven't heard of orthotropics, it sounds a bit pseuodoscience-ey, but it attempts to solve the crooked teeth issue by enlargening the jaw rather than through braces. Thus far, I have to say that I think there's some truth to exerting a little pressure to my maxilla/mandible, and if anything I can breathe much better, which for me is a bigger win than getting straighter teeth.



Enlarging the jaw is still very much under the scope of orthodontics. Palate expanders are fairly common, and are used to expand the adolescent jaw. I had one as a kid. It absolutely works. Their are devices for lower jaw expansion as well.

The pseudoscience-y orthotropics part is where adults are told they can expand their fully developed jaws.


I had a palate expander in my youth. It did not change the forces I applied to my jaw, so it didn't solve my problem, instead they emerged and re-emerged, first in my teens, then after I stopped wearing a retainer in my 20s.

What's the basis for your eager dismissal of an alternative?


I think the real science here is Orthognathic Surgery [1].

I mean - I'm not an orthodontist or a surgeon, but once growth has stopped in the palate as a teenager or young adult I'd be skeptical of claims around bone growth or sculpting. Do you have any resources?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthognathic_surgery


I'm 34 and have personally experienced significant changes in my face thanks to orthotropic pressure / mewing, and have the photos to prove it.

In addition, my bite has been stable without a retainer, whereas in the past I've had braces twice.

My background is I had an undiagnosed mild tongue tie that I discovered a bit over a year ago. I previously couldn’t press my tongue against the roof of my mouth, which led to a tongue thrust on swallowing, which led to an open bite, and my nasal breathing was very constrained.


I just started mewing this week.

I can't get the back of my tongue up between my molars if I have my front tongue close to my front teeth. I can like either mew my front tongue or back tongue. Any tips?

Also how long did it take you to successfully be able to unconsciously keep your back tongue up? Right now it's hard for me to do it for 10 seconds bc it's so uncomfortable


The tip of your tongue should be toward the back of your hard palate - where it rests when you form the “N” sound. From there you should be able to flatten your tongue to broaden your palate / spread your molars.

I’m not sure how long it took to hold my tongue in place, but it took me 3-6 months to see initial external results, given regular mewing + chewing hard gum (falim/mastic). The bone movement occurs in tiny increments of course, but over months the changes are clear. Keeping the mouth closed while breathing is also very important, as it’s the balance of forces between the tongue and cheeks/lips that shapes the arch. For me this wasn’t easy/comfortable prior to expanding my airway via mewing. As for discomfort, I would just keep at it for a few months and see whether your palate is opening up.


For those of us that don't know (myself included), what is "mewing"?


Not the GP, but first Google result says "Mewing is simply resting your entire tongue on the roof of your mouth until it becomes an unconscious resting position for your tongue whenever your mouth is closed", and is apparently for "correcting facial asymmetry, ill-defined jawlines, and sagging jowls."

[1] https://jawlineexercises.com/everything-you-need-to-know-abo...


Exerting pressure on your palate with your tongue, which stimulates growth in the jaw and acts on the maxilla, shifting it forward and up over time.


Exerting pressure on your palate with your tongue, which stimulates growth in the jaw and acts on the maxilla, shifting it forward and up over time.

I’d love to see some actual evidence of that, which isn’t in the form of online anecdotes and testimonials on sites dedicated to the concept, or weird-as-hell “incel” sites. Something peer reviewed, in a respected journal would be a stsrt, even if the results haven’t been replicated yet.

Because it sounds like complete nonsense, and looking at the sites discussing it only reinforces my belief that it’s crap. I’ve spent some time searching for even a scrap of what someone with a hint of skepticism would consider compelling evidence and found nothing. I did find some communities I never knew existed, and wish I could now forget. Suffice it to say that “incels” are a truly strange bunch, and gullible at that.


I'm working on writing up a personal case study, showing my own experience. Plan to publish that soon.

Of course, my experience isn't peer reviewed, but it could play a part in motivating such research. After all, if society is in denial, they will not bother studying it, will they?


Care to link to a good methodology? I've been intrigued by this but there's a lot of conflicting information out there


I would go and schedule an interview with an orthodontist instead of relying on the internet, here. "Orthrotropics" appears to be a registered trademark, which is, at the very least, a yellow flag.

A cursory search on details has broken this down to extractive / surgical vs. non-extractive / non-surgical orthodontics, the latter of which has proven to be effective before the palate and growth plates have fused -- in children.

Talk to somebody you trust with a degree in the field.


> Talk to somebody you trust with a degree in the field.

Tough ask for a lot of people! I have a distant uncle who works as a dentist in the Appalacians and does a lot of pro-bono work. My family has a tradition of taking the children on a trip to see him to ask if they really need braces. Often the answer is no.

I’d feel confident asking him this question, but I don’t think most people have someone like that.


I'm interested in mewing for the purported facial aesthetic and breathing benefits


Orthodontists are incentivized against embracing orthotropics by their current knowledge and business model. They prefer interventions they can charge for (braces, slenderizing) over practices which can be adopted without intervention. This may be why the field emerged from dentists rather than orthodontists.

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it” — Upton Sinclair


> This may be why the field emerged from dentists rather than orthodontists.

Orthodontists are dentists.


but dentists aren't always orthodontists. I think OP meant those that aren't.


I'm referring to dentists who do not practice orthodontistry, and therefore do not have careers hinging on the status quo.


Yes and they call themselves functional orthodontists

http://www.aafo.org/


I can tell you what I’ve done:

* chewing hard gum, falim/mastic, for jaw muscle development

* exerting pressure on the back of my hard palate with the tip of my tongue

* focusing on adjusting my breathing and swallowing patterns to press on the palate rather than elsewhere


Look at functional orthodontics.

http://www.aafo.org


Also, see myofunctional therapy.


I'm in my early 30s, and I recently had my maxilla and mandible non-surgically expanded with a combination of appliances, one called Advanced Lightwire Functional (ALF) and the other called Fixed Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance (FAGGA).

Treatments that make use of the Orthotropics philosophy or of appliances like the ALF or FAGGA are relatively new and are not mainstream. However, there are many case studies available online showing them in action and showing before/after pictures.

I don't know what kind of resources you're looking for, but this video [1] provides a quick introduction to Orthotropics.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D70VF43Evw


Aren't those basically lingual braces? Moving teeth and fixing your arch doesn't require or necessarily involve mandible changes.


From the what I understand, the FAGGA basically expands your maxilla forward. Here's a good example [1] that shows the appliance in action. The photos showing the upper jaw after FAGGA insertion match my experience.

The ALF can be applied to both the maxilla and mandible (whereas the FAGGA, I believe, is just for the maxilla), but the growth it promotes is more gradual and subtle.

I don't think either appliance shares much in common with lingual braces, functionally speaking. I'm not a doctor, but from what I understand lingual braces act primarily on the individual teeth whereas the ALF and FAGGA act primarily on the jaw bones.

[1]: https://www.robinatowndental.com/jaw-expansion-without-surge...


I recently had major orthognathic surgery, a two-step process: surgically-assisted rapid palatal expansion (SARPE), where your palate is basically "mobilized" and cracked down the midline to allow for expansion in adults, and then maxillomandibular advancement (MMA), which advances the entire jaw forward ~10mm. The braces should hopefully be coming off soon.

Obviously I did this for medical reasons - sleep apnea - but I do wonder if the so-called epidemic of sleep apnea could be related to the dietary changes described in this article.


Thanks for pointing out real science. I don't believe much bone can be sculpted or grown once someone's body is fully developed. However, let's keep in mind traditional braces work even in adults because bones remodel themselves continuously. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_remodeling), (https://www.simplyortho.com.au/process-behind-orthodontics/). There's also a reason if bones aren't exposed to forces, the bones start to lose structural strength, example of osteoporosis: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK45504/figure/ch2.f5/), that's a scary image. Also, bones get smaller if you lose teeth: (https://www.deardoctor.com/articles/hidden-consequences-of-l...).

I don't know how any of this stuff works, I'm not a scientist, but the dots seemed to connect based on everything I believe about our physiology, which is admittedly a little "alternative". I don't think you can do exercises and turn into brad pitt, but I'd be willing to bet that there are mechanisms and signals that our body needs in order to self correct misalignments and/or regenerate that our modern lifestyles don't provide due to our indoor sedentary lifestyles.


I'm pretty sure my orthodontist did this when I had braces. He put this metal thing in my mouth that I had to crank open with a key every night for 6 months. He said it was to widen my jaw. It was absolute torture. Not sure exactly what it was or how it worked. I was like 12 when this happened.


Yeah, that's a pallet expander, and very common in orthodontics.


There's a new dental device company working on re-shaping the dental arch called Envisium (https://www.envisium.com/) out of Harvard. Great early results.

(Full-disclosure: I'm an angel investor in them and not a dentist, so only reporting what I've heard from the dentists.)


She/he disclosed their affiliation and reasonable promotion is permitted on HN as long as it's on-topic (this clearly is).

No idea if the product works, but please don't downvote just because it's promotional. If you're an expert in the field and have a particular criticism, please consider engaging in a measured response instead of downvoting.

(I have no affiliation with `dlg` or the company in question)




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