ORTHOTROPICS was developed in 1966 to guide the forward growth of the upper and lower jaws and comes from the Greek words Orthos (Straight or Correct) and Tropos (growth). “Facial Orthotropics” describes the Growth Guidance of the Face. The jaws of our direct human ancestors almost always grew correctly until we changed our life-style about 10,000 years ago and started to eat much softer foods. Later on we started to live indoors, cook frequently using utensils, gained blocked noses from allergies and changed infant feeding methods, less time breast feeding and introduced of soft weaning foods.
The soft food weakened our jaw muscles, the indoor living encouraged allergies while early weaning created abnormal tongue habits and Orthotropists believe that these distort the jaws and teeth. Orthodontists on the other hand believe that badly shaped jaws are inherited and concentrate on straightening the teeth by mechanical means using wires and brackets. They often extract some teeth to make room for others and use surgery to reposition the jaws.
Orthotropists believe that malocclusion is a biological problem which should be treated naturally not by mechanics and surgery. Removable widening appliances are used to make room for all the teeth and the tongue before training braces that teach individuals to make changes, correcting the underlying problem. If these lessons are learnt then they can be learnt forever, whereas Orthodontic results need to be held straight with retainers forever, orthotropic results stay straight.
The best orthotropics results are obtained when children are young, under 9, although treatment is possible at any age.