Orthotropics

​Guidance
For Professionals and Patients from Professor Mew

EXAMPLES:

Class I Malocclusions (Both Jaws too small)

Class I Malocclusions - jaws too small

Age 12

Class I Malocclusions - jaws too small


15 months later

Class I Malocclusions - jaws too small

Age 9

Class I Malocclusions - jaws too small

Age 13

Class I Malocclusions - jaws too small
Class I Malocclusions - jaws too small

More examples of Class I Malocclusions

Class II Malocclusions (Lower Jaw too small)

Class 2 Malocclusions - lower jaw too small

Age 11, waiting for surgery

Class 2 Malocclusions - lower jaw too small

Age 14, after Orthotropics

Class 2 Malocclusions - lower jaw too small
Class 2 Malocclusions - lower jaw too small
Class 2 Malocclusions - lower jaw too small

Age 9

Class 2 Malocclusions - lower jaw too small

Five years later

Class 2 Malocclusions - lower jaw too small
Class 2 Malocclusions - lower jaw too small

More examples of Class II Malocclusions

Class II div 2 Malocclusions (Teeth back and Gummy smile)

Forward Growth Benefits Class II/2.

Class 2 div 2 Malocclusions - Teeth back and Gummy smile

Age 8

Class 2 div 2 Malocclusions - Teeth back and Gummy smile

Age 13

Class 2 div 2 Malocclusions - Teeth back and Gummy smile
Class 2 div 2 Malocclusions - Teeth back and Gummy smile
Class 2 div 2 Malocclusions - Teeth back and Gummy smile

Age 12y 6m

Class 2 div 2 Malocclusions - Teeth back and Gummy smile

Age 20

Class 2 div 2 Malocclusions - Teeth back and Gummy smile
Class 2 div 2 Malocclusions - Teeth back and Gummy smile

Class III Malocclusions (Lower jaw in front of upper)

Class 3 Malocclusions - Lower jaw in front of upper

Age 7y 11m

Class 3 Malocclusions - Lower jaw in front of upper

Age 10y 2m

Class 3 Malocclusions - Lower jaw in front of upper
Class 3 Malocclusions - Lower jaw in front of upper
Class 3 Malocclusions - Lower jaw in front of upper

Age 8 "Will need surgery"

Class 3 Malocclusions - Lower jaw in front of upper

After 14 moths Orthotropics

Class 3 Malocclusions - Lower jaw in front of upper
Class 3 Malocclusions - Lower jaw in front of upper

More examples of Class III Malocclusions

Open Bite Malocclusions
(Some teeth do not meet)

Open Bite Malocclusions - Some teeth do not meet

Age 8

Open Bite Malocclusions - Some teeth do not meet

Age 15

Open Bite Malocclusions - Some teeth do not meet
Open Bite Malocclusions - Some teeth do not meet

Temporo-Mandibular Disfunction (Painful Jaw Joints)

Temporo-Mandibular Disfunction - Painful Jaw Joints

2001

Temporo-Mandibular Disfunction - Painful Jaw Joints

2008

She had had persistent TMD pain which recurred if she left her splint out. She wore a Stage 3 Biobloc for 20 months and as a result of the forward growth her symptoms disappeared and did not return.

Orthotropics instead of surgery
These patients were told they needed jaw surgery but were treated with Orthotropics instead.

‘Orthognathic Surgery'

Orthotropics instead of surgery

Waiting for surgery. Age 10, 14mm overjet

Orthotropics instead of surgery

Age 20

Orthotropics instead of surgery
Orthotropics instead of surgery
Orthotropics instead of surgery

Aged 14, waiting for surgery

Orthotropics instead of surgery

She subsequently became an international model

Orthotropics instead of surgery
Orthotropics instead of surgery
Orthotropics instead of surgery

Age 17y 5m

Orthognathic Surgery

Four months later After St 1

Age 18y 3m

Age 17y 5m

Orthotropics instead of surgery

Age 32

Adult Treatment

Biobloc treatment instead of surgery.

Orthotropics instead of surgery

Age 23

Orthotropics instead of surgery

Age 26

Orthotropics instead of surgery
Orthotropics instead of surgery

How to stop this happening to your children:

Slide1

From a very young age the faces of some children grow downwards (vertically) and they develop receding chins, flat faces, crowded teeth and big noses. On the other hand some children grow forward (horizontally) looking much better (see below right). Most orthodontists think that these problems are inherited and that little can be done to correct them other than to mechanically straighten the teeth. However, Orthotropists® believe that vertical growth is caused by open mouth postures or tongue habits so they convert the vertical growth to horizontal by training the children to change these habits (see below right). Obviously, Orthotropics must be started young but it can have a big effect on facial appearance (see other faces on this site). Orthodontic treatment tends to increase vertical growth so look for treatments that encourage horizontal growth.

How can parents balance the evidence?

This was the concern that brought a group of Dentists, Orthodontists, Chiropractors and other health workers together, from all over the world, to open a site that discussed various methods of treatment so that patients could consider some of the more Natural options. Unfortunately, some clinicians make claims that are difficult to justify and the rest of this site contains information for patients, dentists and orthodontists and we hope this will help them to decide which option is best.

Orthodontic Treatment with Extractions.

Research judged by the Public and Dentists’ showed the improvement on the face and teeth using the Orthotropic method was ‘highly significant’ in comparison to conventional Orthodontics (Mew 2015). Dentists much prefer Orthotropic results but may not recommend them because growth guidance takes longer and is more expensive. However orthodontic treatment usually requires extractions and wearing a brace afterwards for many years to hold the teeth straight.
(Mew JRC 2015. Visual Comparison of Excellent Orthodontic Results with Excellent Postural Results? Kieferorthopädie 2015;29(4):1–15)

Parents have a simple choice:

  1. Preventive Orthotropics while their child is young (5 to 8) or
  2. Conventional orthodontics when they are older.

For the last hundred years, most orthodontists have taken the second option because it is easier and quicker than guiding the growth of the jaws. This is despite knowing that this option usually increases unattractive vertical growth and many good looking children finish with obvious damage (see Mary below). Teeth can be straightened at any age but if the jaws have grown the wrong way they are likely to require surgery.

Hundreds of children in the UK are sent for surgery each year although it can be completely avoided with Orthotropics.

Showing the facial damage after three years orthodontic treatment


Mary

All orthodontists are legally obliged to tell patients about alternative methods of treatment, especially if they are recommending irreversible procedures such as extractions or surgery. Unfortunately, not all do so. If you were not told about alternatives, you have a legal right to complain. Mary above was told she would have to have four extractions and her teeth pulled back but she was not informed there was any alternative. You can see how the ‘train tracks’ changed her horizontally growing face to vertical, with flat cheeks, and a receding chin (illustration above). Because her parents complained about the damage to her face, the orthodontist suggested surgery to cut and reposition her jaws, so her parents sought a second opinion but by then it was too late to restore her growth.

Unfortunately citizens of the UK are unlikely to receive much help from the General Dental Council because this type of facial damage is considered normal. So we recommend that before treatment patients explore the various websites for themselves and balance the needs of their children against the effort and expense involved. Do they want a ‘cure’ or are they content to settle for straight teeth with the risk of facial damage and the need to wear permanent retention afterwards.

What goes wrong?

Few parents realize how malleable the facial bones of a six-year-old child are and how quickly things like ‘leaving the mouth open’ or ‘sucking the thumb’ can spoil a child’s appearance forever (see below).

untreated_girl_6-9

It is difficult for a layperson to know if the face of a young child is growing correctly because most young children look cute (see above) but Orthotropists® are trained to recognise the early signs of poor facial growth so that treatment can be started in time. It may be too late at 8 (see above).

Many websites promote orthodontic practices by showing beautiful women with straight teeth, often models that have never been treated. So ask to see your orthodontist’s own results before and after treatment, with photos taken from the side to see the true facial changes and compare them with the Orthotropic® faces on this page. Faces taken from the front can be misleading especially if they are smiling. If your dentist or orthodontist offers you Orthotropics® we suggest that you check that they are fully registered on www.orthotropics.com ‘Find a clinician’. Be suspicious if they say they might extract teeth or use invisible braces or ‘train tracks’ all of which can harm faces.

We also suggest that you ask for a photo of the side of the face before they start treatment, to check that the face is not damaged. Recent research has shown that dentists much prefer Orthotropic results but often do not recommend it because ‘it is complex and takes a long time’. Many orthodontists mislead patients by telling them they will not extract teeth when in fact orthodontic treatment nearly always results in four or eight extractions, while Orthotropics® should provide every young child with room for 32 teeth (see below).

Showing how the face improves if the oral posture is corrected.

Showing how the face improves if the oral posture is corrected. Orthodontics with train Tracks can not achieve results like this.

correct_posture

Orthotropics® uses removable appliances which hardly show. Encouraging horizontal growth works best with children under eight years old, provided they wear their appliances as instructed. However, it is a highly skilled treatment that requires patients to learn to keep their mouths closed which some children find difficult. Be cautious if your dentist or orthodontist tells you that they may use Facial Orthopaedics, Functional appliances or fixed ‘Train Tracks’ as these methods all tend to increase vertical growth.

Therefore you need to ask four specific questions:

  1. Will there be room for all 32 teeth?
  2. Will treatment increase vertical growth?
  3. Is there any risk of surgery?
  4. Will Fixed Appliances (Train Tracks) be needed? 
    If you don’t receive a firm assurance, you might be wise to seek a second opinion.

Surgery

Research shows that “Train Tracks”, “Dental Orthopaedics” and “Functional Appliances” can only move the jaw bones 2 or 3 millimetres and if more movement is required orthodontists usually suggest cutting the jaws and repositioning them (a major operation). Surgery is most often recommended for children with undershot jaws (when the top teeth are behind the bottom teeth). If treatment is delayed they are likely to need surgery (see below). All these conditions can be corrected with Orthotropics without surgery.

What should be done if the top teeth are behind the bottom?

Fortunately Orthotropics® can move bones ten or more millimetres (see several examples on this site) but for this the child must be young and dentists and orthodontists often do not tell patients until it is too late. As a result hundreds of children have surgery each year which could easily have been avoided. Make sure that you ask at the beginning of treatment if there is any risk of surgery. Prominent lower jaws are best treated before the age of six (see below) while the bones are soft, but some correction can be achieved in older children.

No treatment

no_treatment

A girl with a protrusive lower jaw which became worse.
With acknowledgement to Bjork, A. Acta Odont Scand. 24:109-127. 1966.

The patients below had Orthotropics to encourage their upper jaws to grow forward.

orthotropics_example

The two older children below were told they would need surgery but had Orthotropics instead.

correcting_problems

What is the best thing to do if the front teeth stick out?

You can either take the top teeth back (below left) or bring the lower jaw forward (below right).

If the front teeth ‘stick out’ more than eight millimetres many orthodontists consider surgery inevitable. However Orthotropics® can correct most of these if they are under the age of eight and many much older (see Gordon below).

Gordon

Gordon had Orthotropics; Orthodontics can not achieve results like this.

gordon

Is it right to change the shape of the face?

Orthotropics can achieve much greater changes to the shape of the face than other current method, but this also raises a moral issue. Is it fair for some children to be able to cheat nature in this way (see below).

retruded_jaw

 

Changing the shape of the face can have a big influence on a child’s self confidence. This reticent boy with a retruded jaw was treated with Orthotropics and subsequently became captain of his rowing team. Orthodontic treatment can not achieve results like this.

Evidence

Sadly orthodontic research has been widely criticised for its poor quality. As a result there is little agreement between orthodontists about which methods are best. This is why we recommend that patients educate themselves by looking at the illustrations on this and other web sites to find the best options, remembering that not only do you want a good looking face but a wide smile that stays straight for the rest of their life without wearing braces. If you are interested in research look at several pairs of Identical Twins treated by different methods.‘Mew JRC 2007. Facial Changes in Identical Twins Treated by Different Orthodontic Techniques. The World Journal of Orthodontics. 8: 174-188’.

We show one pair, see below or look at the comparison of Best Results using a range of techniques. There is plenty of evidence to show that unless a child wears an appliance for the rest of their life, orthodontic results go crooked again, but parents are not always told this. Following forward growth the teeth stay straight naturally.

twins

Timing and Costs

Orthotropics® requires many years extra training; also guiding growth is more complex and takes longer than extractions and mechanics. The success of treatment is largely dependent on the cooperation of the child and the support of their parents during the twelve to eighteen months full time treatment with appointments every two to four weeks. Subsequently they will require two or three years night-time training with appointments every six to twelve weeks. This is why it is not really suitable for those from, poorly organised households, broken families or those who rely on nannies to bring their children. Currently it costs nearly twice as much as orthodontics placing it at the top of the scale except for surgery.

The Final Balance

Orthotropic® results may be considered best by patients and dentists but it is not popular with orthodontists because of the prolonged treatment and greater commitment required. The technique is also very technique sensitive and an inexperienced Orthotropic Clinician is unlikely to be able to correct a difficult case. Look carefully at their previous results and judge if the faces they show, have grown forward attractively. Orthotropics would seem to be the only way to avoid surgery, but for minor malocclusions traditional orthodontics may still be appropriate, unless you are especially concerned about your child’s long-term facial appearance. The pictures on this site should help you to understand orthodontics and Orthotropics and their effects on Vertical and Horizontal growth and enable you to decide if perfecting facial appearance and long-term dental alignment is worth the increased effort and expense of Orthotropics.

Videos

View the clips below for an explanation on Natural Growth Guidance.

  • Part 1
  • Part 2
  • Part 3
  • Part 4

Download

How Many Teeth are Extracted as Part of Orthodontic Treatment? A Survey of 2038 UK Residents
International Journal of Dentistry and Oral Science (IJDOS)

8 thoughts on “Orthotropics

  1. Hello John,
    I hope you had a comfortable trip back home. I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to say good bye on Saturday. My daughter was leaving for prom that afternoon and I wanted to get home to see her all dressed up and take pictures before she left the house. I wish you well in your search for a nice lady. She is out there and I hope you find each other soon. Your tenacious approach to life is truely admirable.
    Take care,
    Martina

  2. Hi Dr. Mew:

    Great photos as always–no need to sell ME on Orthotropics–you have this thing nailed!

    We met at Dr. Marianna Evans’s Ortho-Perio Symposium in Nov 2016 in Philadelphia and have since put on our first Functional Oral and Airway Health Summit (Sep 2017). We will be doing FOAHS-2 this coming August (prelaunch Aug 6, Summit Aug 20-29).

    Our first Summit featured Dr. Bill Hang, Patrick McKeown and other people you may recognize. Our post-summit welcome page provides speaker lineup and other info by visiting the URL submitted in the appropriate field of this post.

    We would LOVE to have you as a Speaker on this upcoming Summit–would you be interested?

    Please let us know–Best phone #s are +1 717 898 9113 and +1 717475 4055 (HMM cell–you can text us there as well).

    Look fwd to your reply–we do all our interviews via Zoom–UNLESS you plan to be in Philadelphia soon, in which case we could do live–we’re still trying to chase down Dr. Kevin Boyd, who’ll be visiting Philly May 11 and 12 (Dr. Evans’s office AND Dr. Janet Monge @ Penn Museum)–hope to talk soon!

    Best,
    Scott Saunders DDS
    President, Health Mouth Media

  3. Dear Professor Mew,
    I believe that the time for wide acceptance of your Orthotropic Premise is getting very close. There are many practitioners who have taken your premise and used it to develop diagnostic criteria and treatment protocols that are very different to what has been traditionally taught in orthodontic programmes throughout the world.
    I have attended programmes and clinical continuums run by yourself, Bill Hang, Dave Singh, Steve Gallela and Anne-Maree Cole. It seems to me that the Orthotropic Premise is the foundation on which all of these practitioners are building their orthodontic ideals.
    The problem that I see is that people are very possessive of their intellectual property – and probably rightly so. However, this leads to an almost religious zeal and a “one true faith” mentality. I would like to facilitate a meeting of opinion leaders with a view to developing a consensus about the orthotropic premise.
    The beauty of your premise is that it is based on a thought principle that is broad enough to allow a divergence of means. The divergent means though, lead to division between proponents of the differing means that is, in my view, completely unnecessary and impedes progress of the orthotropic premise.
    I think it is time to re-explore and consolidate the similarities between us.
    I would like to send you a draft of a letter I have prepared and an initial list of people whose participation I would consider valuable. I’m sure that I have left out many who should be included and I would value your contribution if appropriate. I’d be very grateful for your opinion as to whether this, or a similar proposal should go ahead.
    Respectfully,
    Matthew Littleton B.D.Sc.
    167 Berserker St
    Berserker, Qld 4701
    Australia

  4. Good morning Doctor,

    I am reaching out to you as a concerned parent for my daughters well being. She turned 11 this Jan. She was done with her first phase of traditional orthodontic treatment. It was started when it was brought to our attention that there needed to be more room made for her k-9s to come in. That was done, however, when the doctor talked about starting the second phase, we decided to get a second opinion. We met with another orthodontist, Who told us that the lower jaw is more then 5-6 mm forward then the upper jaw, I believe he said the Maxiliary was under developed and the only why to correct this is surgery when she reaches the age of 15-16. As you can imagine, this was devastating to hear as a parent, but my daughter, who was in the room while the doctor explained, has taken it very hard. I have been researching and found a couple of articles and videos where you talk about the probability of a correction at this age can be possible. I have made another appointment with a doctor who practices Orthotropic methods, and will be meeting with him next week. I know that time is very important at this point, so I was hoping if you could recommend someone in my area as soon as possible. I live in the United States, in the San Francisco Bay area. I understand you are a very busy person, But I as a parent, I feel for my daughter having to go thru the next 4-5 years anticipating what the only apparent solution as of now. I hope that this email finds you well and hope to hear from you soon.

  5. My son had an overbite and had orthodontic treatment. No extractions or surgery, I wouldn’t let them take any teeth out, although they were keen! I have noticed now that his brace is off and is wearing retainers (plastic) that his profile is long and his jawline weak and it wasn’t before the work. He is 14 and I wondered if I tried to encourage his posture, encouraging him to keep his mouth shut and his tongue to the roof of the mouth whether that will have any effect as he is still growing or whether now that his front teeth have been moved back whether its all too late?

  6. Dear dr. Mew, I would like your opinion regarding my son’s case but I cannot find email contact on this web page so I am leaving a comment like this which is not for publishing. I need your advice and since we live in Croatia if you can recommend someone closer in Slovenia, Italy or Austria.
    Sincerely, Sanja

  7. Hi, I live in California and wanted to know if there are any recommended Orthotropics practices here who have the same philosophy and use the same methods as Dr. Mew. In short, I’m looking for a referral. 🙂

  8. This is amazing. I was never told about this while growing up (I’ve always had an underbite). My orthodontist offered head gear but my mom refused and instead opted for braces to disguise my issues from the front. My teeth were always straight but my upper jaw needed to come forward. So the orthodontist had the dentist remove some teeth from the bottom jaw and used braces to sort of bend the bottom teeth backwards so that my teeth somewhat meet. But they do not rest comfortably, and so perhaps by luck, I have always kept my tongue on the roof of my mouth. I have good posture and have always been physically active and facially expressive, eaten lots of fibrous whole foods, and have never kicked a supposed bad habit of chewing the insides of my cheeks. I chew them constantly and it’s rather funny to me now after having read about orthotropics because it seems like my habits have helped improve my face after all. I have always wanted jaw surgery and almost opted for it in South Korea this year. But I just couldn’t go through with it because my issues don’t seem as bad as they used to. My facial profile has improved and now I am going to actively use the postural techniques described in Dr. Mew’s YouTube videos and be very cognizant of the entire process and engage everything all the time. I’m 30 so perhaps it’s too late- but my face should have gotten worse, not better, given the orthodontic treatments and my issues. But I’ve seemingly done all the right things without realizing it, and now I’m definitely going to add in chewing gum…..! If I have the means someday and have children with a supportive man, orthotropics will be my chosen treatment if the children need it.

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