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Can Orthodontics Affect the Airway?

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Here’s what you need to know…

The airway and tongue space are intimately related to each other. To the degree that the tongue is displaced backward and/or downward, the airway can be made smaller.

Downward and backward growth, which is very much becoming the norm for children, tends to make the space for the tongue smaller without any orthodontics at all.

The big question is: can orthodontics affect  the airway? Unfortunately, much of traditional orthodontic care is retractive in nature and seeks to “retract” front teeth that are assumed to be protruding in the face. Headgears to retract and extraction of teeth to make space to retract are common orthodontic approaches which are still in use to bring the teeth back. This type of treatment can make less space for the tongue rather than more space.

What we strive for in Face Focused® treatments is room in the mouth for the tongue to rest firmly on the roof of the mouth with the teeth lightly together and the lips closed.

Orthotropics® expands and develops the jaws forward in young children giving maximum space for the tongue and often substantially opening the airway which confirms that orthodontics can affect the airway in a positive way.

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