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Dr Chris Darby

Dr Chris Darby

Lifetime Holistic Dental’s Orthodontic Philosophy

As Lifetime Holistic Dental’s Chief Dentist, I’ve been providing orthodontic care for over 30 years. The crux of Lifetime’s philosophy is a holistic approach that focuses on non-extraction.

It is entirely possible to relieve crowded teeth and jaws using orthodontic appliances, like plates and braces, without resorting to extraction. I firmly believe that teeth should never be extracted if it can be helped. This is why I has devised a number of orthodontic methods for creating beautiful smiles and straight teeth without resorting to extractions.

Get In Nice and Early

This is crucial to Lifetime’s orthodontic philosophy. Non-extraction orthodontics is most effective for patients that have had their facial, jaw and dental growth monitored by a dentist from an early age. With early monitoring, procedures can be far less invasive, and slight abnormalities in growth can be gently guided back into the proper form.

A holistic orthodontic practitioner will ask the right questions and treat underlying causes of malocclusion and crowded teeth. This allows for interceptive treatments, where the ultimate goal is properly aligned jaws, full faces and smiles and nice and open airways.

What’s commonly misunderstood about issues with facial and jaw growth is that it creates breathing difficulties, giving rise to serious health problems like sleep apnoea and snoring.

How Does Traditional Orthodontics Work?

Traditional orthodontics is concerned with one thing – moving teeth. Our more holistic form has much bigger goals. As mentioned above, we want to use orthodontics to improve other areas of health, including breathing and even facial appearance.

In a perfect world, we will be involved in a child’s growth from the time they are in the womb. This time is crucial in educating parents on healthy facial growth, as well as the importance of breastfeeding, nasal breathing and ensuring your baby knows how to swallow correctly.

With 6-monthly review appointments, we will monitor growth and check that it is on track.

The Problem with Mouth Breathing

Most kids and adults breathe through their mouth, rather than the nose. This is due to allergies, as well as mucus caused by ear and sinus infections. The problem with mouth breathing occurs when the tongue is displaced from the palate.
This can be caused by a number of reasons, including dummy and thumb sucking, as well as a blocked nose. In this case, the upper jaw doesn’t grow wide or forward enough to give the lower jaw room to grow. This, in turn, shrinks the airways in the nose and throat, causing breathing restrictions.

Traditional orthodontists only straighten teeth once all the permanent teeth have grown into the mouth. This approach fails to take into account that 90% of the face has finished growing by the age of 13, so interceptive treatment should be started by no later than 8 if you want good results.

We seek to develop and widen the upper jaw as soon as we notice any narrowing. This widening also extends the floor of the nose, making more room in the nasal passages and allowing for patients to actually breathe through their noses – the proper way to breathe.

This is why we value our approach so much. We tackle the issue as early as possible, to not just create a perfect smile but to also create a better respiratory system.

The Non-Extraction Part?

We believe that jaws can grow large enough to accommodate all the natural teeth. In fact, the upper jaw can and does grow for the rest of our lives. We have given countless patients the welcome news that they don’t have to have their teeth removed. Even better, our clinic has saved people from restless nights and concentration issues just be restoring their nasal-breathing abilities.

Signs That Your Child Needs to Visit Lifetime Holistic Dental

If you notice any of the following bring your child to our South Yarra clinic:

  • Heavy mouth breathing
  • Snoring
  • Hyperactivity
  • Bed wetting
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)

But remember, it’s not just young children that can have their lives changed by this holistic approach. Adults suffering from any of these symptoms may require some orthodontic intervention. The old method meant so many people missed out on the treatment they needed, but with new knowledge, this doesn’t have to happen anymore.

The Outcomes of this Philosophy

So then, what can you expect as a result of non-extraction orthodontics? Quite a few results actually:

  • Achieving actual results without losing any teeth
  • Breathing and sleeping better, which means a better quality of life
  • Having normal jaw and facial growth, so you get a straight smile, uncrowded teeth and a full and beautiful face
  • Avoiding serious dental issues, like decay and gum disease
  • Not having to go through the expense and pain of invasive jaw corrective treatments
  • Understanding jaw and facial development, so you can monitor your kids and look out for any issues

If you would like more information or to book an appointment, please contact us.

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