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Background first... firstly, I'm 46, so progress is going to be slow and probably not drastic, and I'm also not going to post pictures, sorry...
- Was never breast fed, only bottle, and developed bad tongue posture and bad chewing habits
- Throughout a good portion of my youth I had sinus troubles and could not breath through my nose easily, this led to mouth breathing, open lips at rest, and terrible chewing habits - chew very little, swallow large chunks, eat quickly
- Recessed chin, little in the way of cheekbones, over-developed buccal muscles, etc. not a particularly long face though
- I have all 32 of my teeth, wisdom teeth came through very early at around 11 and besides a little crowding of the front teeth they all fit - no malocclusions
- Large jaw, even though I have a recessed chin, and was always pretty well defined, I ate a lot of hard food as a kid which I think helped
- Have been working on tongue and neck posture for 3 weeks, also gum chewing, both with hard gum and tongue chewing with softer gum - have found that open mouth chewing with the hard gum is a better workout for the masseters and prevents my temporalis from getting over-used (I was getting a big pump in them, I do not want to develop lumps on my temples!)
- Made decent progress on holding tongue posture during sleep, I've switched from back to side sleeping, and while I definitely am not nose breathing all night, I am for a significant portion
- As stated spontaneously by a friend, I look younger, which I think this is due to both the bags under my eyes and my nasolabial fold reducing significantly, probably from all the gum chewing, I think anyway
- Palate seems to have become more vaulted, probably from the tongue chewing, and there is a little more space between my top teeth which I can notice by being able to fit a larger size of interdental brush between them, and more easily than I could fit the size down that I was using
- Mainly fix snoring and bruxism issues, secondarily straighten my teeth through reducing the overcrowding, and lastly maybe get some maxilla projection and mandible upswing though I am not getting my hopes up there
- Short term goal is to widen my palate - my tongue is in a lot of pain from rubbing/pushing against my wisdom teeth, getting in the way of really making progress, so I need to get some room up there... I am hoping the increased vaulting will eventually turn into widening... current intermolar width is 35mm, would like to see that get to 40mm, but any increase is welcome
- EDIT: My other big goal is to be an orthotropics guinea pig for my 12yr old son. He has braces on currently, they'll be coming off in a few months, and I want to get him onto a plan to change his habits and hopefully get some maxilla movement and palate widening - I do not want him to have to wear retainers forever, nor do I want him to have trouble with his teeth again when his wisdom teeth come through.
I'll try and update this about once a month... perhaps there are others around my age who might be interested in what progress older folks can make
Hello and welcome. I am 43 so we’re in a similar situation, except most of my damage was caused by adult braces, not problems when I was younger. I only have 24 teeth as my wisdoms were extracted in my early 20s (for no reason other than it was just what was done) and 4 premolars were extracted when I got braces (ostensibly to create space in jaw to straighten teeth, but in actual fact very little space was required because my teeth were crooked to a minuscule degree). These actions had the effect of pulling in my jaws and reducing them to the extent that I now don’t have sufficient room on my palate or house my tongue. When I lay my tongue against the roof of my mouth comfortably, the tip of the tongue sticks out a centimetre beyond my front teeth. I mew the best I can within these limitations. I tuck my tongue in behind my front teeth and squeeze it in against the roof of the mouth. The sides of the tongue push against the molars and I get scalloped edges and sores. I am hoping if I keep at it, the molars will get pushed out some, making it more comfortable eventually. Let’s hope we both have success.
Any particular reason why you switched to side sleeping?
@lizzybennet Hi Lizzy. Yeah I think I was lucky that in my family there was just no notion of getting any orthodontic work done - no-one had had braces, and crooked teeth were just normal. Unfortunately I got talked into getting braces for my son because of a significant overbite/overjet. He's about 2/3rds of the way through, and I really wish I had found orthotropics beforehand.
I should have put that above actually - that my other big goal is being an orthotropics guinea pig for my son. I plan on taking him to an orthotropics versed orthodontist here, luckily a very good one in my city, and get a plan together for how he can get off of retainers ASAP and make room for his wisdom teeth to come in trouble free.
I have the same problem fitting my tongue in, as in it keeps wanting to stick out. At first I was just getting some scalloping from the molars and wisdom teeth, but now I have an ulcer on one side. Was in a lot of pain yesterday, luckily tongues heal pretty fast so it was a lot better by today, though I also got some ulcer ointment to dull the pain a bit.
I'm finding tongue chewing with a big wad of gum less painful than trying to hard mew as I can push against the palate without pushing my tongue against my teeth. So I'm hoping that will be a good way to speed up the palate expansion. Though as I said, it mostly seems to me just making it more vaulted at the moment.
And yes, fingers crossed on this getting more comfortable!
How are you planning to ensure your son practises good posture? Its extremely important no doubt, but at the same time its very hard to change someone elses posture unless they are highly motivated to do so themselves. I think if he learns about the importance of facial aesthetics in addition to learning that his braces probably damaged his face and could have been prevented, this would be highly psychologically detrimental especially for someone his age.
@pame It's tricky I agree!
The plan right now is not to focus on the facial aesthetics so much as he's only 12 and not particularly interested in girls yet, though that is about to change I'm sure. He's a good looking kid anyway, but of course I'd like him to achieve his full potential.
What he is concerned about is having to wear retainers, possibly forever, to keep his teeth in the new alignment from the braces. He had really quite a bad overjet, so they have certainly done the job of fixing those, and it has improved his face. What I am worried about most is the long term effect of having 4 teeth removed, though I am hoping his wisdom teeth can take their place in terms of filling out space in his jaw.
So what I am doing right now is introducing the idea that good posture, lip seal, chewing, swallowing, etc. will allow his teeth to stay in place without the retainers, and also that if he can get into these good habits now and influence his facial growth, his wisdom teeth will come through without any issues. I am also trying to model this change in behaviour myself. He at least does not have some of the poor habits I had/have - he swallows and chews properly, and doesn't mouth breath, at least during the day. He does have terrible posture though, and poor lip seal.
So the next big step is when he gets his braces off in a few months. I am taking him to see Dr Simon Wong who happens to practice here in Melbourne. The idea being to get a plan together for using orthotropics to achieve these goals, ideally just through behavioural changes. He has a lot of experience working with children.
Some progress... main thing is my tongue is no longer in pain, so that's good!
I don't know if I am making any progress in widening my palate, though I definately have a little more space between my teeth as gauged by the larger interdental brushes I can now fit in-between them. I doubt this would be measurable in terms of a palate width change though, and I assume this going to take a long time and be hard to measure, so I'm not even going to try to until I've been at this for another couple of months.
Getting some small amount of hypertophy in the masseters from the hard gum chewing, and my cheeks appear to be hollowing out a little, presumably from swallowing properly.
So all good, and I'll keep on truckin'.
Little update.... so basically no progress at all, in fact I've gone a little backwards in terms of being able to stay closed mouthed with good tongue posture during sleep. I put this down to having started smoking again. I hadn't smoked for a month before I started mewing, but I started up again a few weeks ago, and it's stuffing up my airways enough to be ruining the progress I was making during sleep. So basically I have to quit again ASAP.
That sucks.. Try to get some nicotine pouches, same like chewing tobacco, but made without tobacco, just a little taste and nicotine, I made quitting smoking alot easier for me.