ALF Appliance History
The ALF was designed by Dr. Darrick Nordstrom in the early 1980s. The doctor realized that there was a need for more than just an aesthetic teeth alignment. From his extensive knowledge of how the human body works, he recognized that there was a need to correct the other structures that are connected to the teeth— the skull bones and the Maxillae (upper jaw). By doing so, he discovered that patients experienced relief and loss of chronic headaches, shoulder, neck, and lower back pains, and other unrelated symptoms like fatigue, ringing in the ears, PMS, digestion problems, and earing losses. This was a major discovery in the dentistry field as dentists can now easily restore patients’ functions and improve their overall wellbeing. Since Dr. Nordstrom discovered this appliance, he dedicated his professional career in perfecting its design and its treatment approach.
How does ALF Appliance Work?
Orthodontic treatment has established that continuous slow forces applied to the skull bones and the teeth have more effects than heavy continuous forces. As it is stated in the Arndt-Schulz Law: weak stimuli raises the physiological activities and strong stimuli abolishes or inhibit the stimuli, ALF applies these laws by applying slow and continuous force to the skull bones and the teeth.
ALF appliance uses the functional natural forces— the tongue and the chewing forces in its palatal expansion therapy. Generally, it applies these natural forces to stimulate the growth of the jaw bone. This makes the tongue to be the natural palatal expander. With the aid of the tongue, the device is able to promote natural growth and increase in the volume of your maxillae and the overall mouth space.
Depending on the complexity of the case, treatment is quite varied. It can last as few as 3-6 months or go as long as 1-3 years. The Appliance is comfortable and does not affect your speech. It does not collect much food, hence very easy to clean.
ALF appliance is the best option for kids with crowded and crooked teeth. The appliance has also proved effective in reversing poor facial development effects, facial damages that arise during birth, TMJ pains, and pain and damages resulting from aggressive extraction orthodontics. Besides, this appliance can produce palatial expansion, correct facial asymmetries, and open the airway.
It is an essential appliance for patients that have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, cranial draining, and poor sinus.
Furthermore, the dentist can custom-design the appliance during treatment to adhere to a specific patient problem.
The purpose of ALF Appliances
Structural alterations of the maxillary and jaw bones can be as a result of genetics, birth trauma and sport contacts and other head trauma. There are three main fold functions of the appliance:
· Correct skull distortion
· Correct maxillae distortions
· Correct the alignment of both the upper and the lower teeth to improve your bite.
Lip Tie and Tongue Tie
Lip ties are also referred to as Maxillary frenum. A lip tie is an attachment connecting the upper jaw and the lip muscles. When this attachment pulls the lip too tightly to the upper teeth or is too close to them, many problems can ensue. These problems include backward teeth displacement, loss of gum tissues and creating a space between the teeth—diastema. On the other hand, tongue-tie is also referred to as lingual frenum. It is the connection between the lower jaw and the tongue. A stronger lingual frenum can hinder the free movement of the tongue and deform its functions. It can cause speech and feeding problems for kids. More importantly, the tongue will not apply the preferred pressure to the jawbones. This results in smallmouth space for eating, talking and many more. In addition to deforming the face of your child, tongue ties can cause sleep apnea, TMJ problems, and other related issues. All these issues can be easily removed by the ALF dentist appliance.
Treatment of choice
ALF is not only the best therapy for kids with crowded teeth, but it is also a great appliance for adults with minor tooth crowding.
Apart from treating airway issues, sleep apnea, TMJ pains, failed orthodontic, and chronic head and neck pains, the AFL appliance can make your smile look better. Whereas braces and other treatments can retract and pull your teeth backward, AFL can stimulate and increase the space of your mouth for the teeth and the tongue to fit in a more favorable position.
If you notice your child breathing loudly, snoring, clenching their teeth at night, or experiencing nasal stuffiness, do not sit back, these are warning signs of a major underlying problem. Creating more space and appropriate tongue positioning is paramount. Look for an AFL dentist.
It is all connected, ranging from straight teeth, proper mouth space, proper airway, straight smile to a nice-looking face. This is where form meets life.