About Us Overview
- Dr. Rix is a Specialist in “Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics”.
- “Orthodontics” involves straightening the teeth and making the bite fit properly.
- “Dentofacial orthopedics” involves the guidance of the growth of the jaws and face.
- Dr. Rix treats children, teens, and adults.
- Dr. Rix feels that it is important to identify the causes of orthodontic problems and correct these causes along with the orthodontic problems in the interests of stability, effective treatment and related health issues.
- Correcting the causes of orthodontic problems around 6 to 10 years of age appears to enable a greater improvement in growth compared to treating during adolescence.
- A significant portion of treatment in our practice is “interceptive” treatment in 6 to 10 year olds.
- Dr. Rix understands that environmental influences are a significant cause of orthodontic problems either directly or through mouth breathing or the development of an orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD).
Environmental influences include:
- Poor Oral Habits
- thumb or digit sucking
- pen or pencil biting
- lip biting or sucking
- lip licking
- tongue biting or sucking
- nail biting
- cheek biting
- sucking or chewing on clothing
- Bottle feeding as an infant
- Use of a soother or pacifier
- Poor diet
- Early childhood respiratory infections
- Poor posture
- Tongue tie
- Lip Tie
- Tongue or lip piercings
- Chronic mouth breathing
- Compromised nasal breathing
- Enlarged tonsils and adenoids
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders include:
- Abnormal tongue rest posture
- Abnormal swallow
- Lack of a lip seal
- Poor oral habits (such as thumb sucking)
- Orofacial myofunctional disorders cause imbalances in facial muscle function that appear to adversely affect the growth of the jaws and teeth.
Signs of an orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD):
- Frequent mouth breathingFrequent open mouth posture
- Lips frequently apart
- Grimace, blink, or head nod with swallow
- Gag reflex
- Noisy eater
- Trouble with some food textures (commonly onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and shrimp)
- Open mouth chewing
- Eating one food at a time
- Trouble licking ice cream cones
- Trouble swallowing pills
Dr. Rix’ scope of treatment includes:
Most contemporary orthodontic treatment modalities with addition of many aspects of “Functional Orthodontics”, “Myofunctional Orthodontics”, “Airway Centered Orthodontics”, “Expansion Orthodontics”, and “Integrative Orthodontics”. These alternative categories of orthodontic treatment are not widely understood and are not precisely defined. Dr. Rix integrates what he feels are beneficial aspects of these categories of orthodontic treatment into his treatment.
The correction of the orthodontic problem along with the correction of any orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD) or poor oral habit present, that may have contributed to the orthodontic problem.
The correction of mouth breathing, as mouth breathing is a significant cause of myofunctional disorders and is a significant cause of orthodontics problems.
Dr. Rix uses most of the current commonly used orthodontic methods and appliances including:
- Braces (self-ligating, metal or clear)
- Clear aligner therapy (such as Invisalign)
- Accelerated orthodontic technologies (such as Acceledent or Propel)
- Dr. Rix also uses some less commonly used orthodontic methods and such as:
- Removable functional appliances (Myobrace, ALF)
- Orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT)
- Breathing therapy
- Postural therapy
Orthodontics is more than straight teeth. Orthodontics is connected with:
- Growth and development
- Oral habits
- Jaw joint discomfort
- Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD)
- Neurocognitive Disorders
- Digestive problems
The goals of orthodontic treatment are:
- Straight teeth.
- To optimize the aesthetics of the face.
- To provide a functional, comfortable and stable bite.
- To improve related aspects of health and function such as chewing, swallowing, digestion, sleep, breathing, bedwetting, attention issues, speech, headaches, jaw joint discomfort, and others.
Facial esthetics optimization requires:
- Proper growth of the jaws and teeth from an early age.
- A balanced and symmetrical face.
- Properly aligned teeth.
- Normal tongue and facial muscle function and balance.
- Nasal breathing.
Orthodontic treatment often requires working collaboratively with additional health professionals such as:
- Family Dentist
- ENT (Otolaryngologist)
- Sleep physician
- Oral Surgeon
- Cranio osteopath
- Speech-language pathologist
- Breathing therapist
- Orofacial myofunctional therapist