Taming the Tongue - A Case Study of One Doctor’s Myofunctional Success

Posted by POS Course Adviser on 2/2/17 8:25 AM

In this guest post by POS graduate Dr. Rani Seeth, learn how she treated a myofuntional habit and transformed the smile of her patient Luz Mary.

My name is Dr. Rani Seeth, and I have been offering comprehensive orthodontic care since 2012. I have helped 250 patients with orthodontic care and I am absolutely enjoying orthodontics and how it’s affecting my patients.

Previously, I had been referring out the many kids in my practices who needed braces. I decided to improve my orthodontic skills because most of my patients wanted to stay at my practice. They trusted me with their care and I decided that it was time to help them.

Luz Mary is one of these patients whom I helped with orthodontics. Here is her story:

My patient, Luz MaryLuz_mary_Salas_photos11.jpg


  • 12 years old
  • Chief compliant: My teeth aren't in the right place
  • Treated by extracting the upper 4's and lower 5's and used high pull headgear


Luz Mary came to me a few years ago and told me that she didn’t like how her teeth were in the wrong place. She didn’t like that they grew in wrong angles and gave her an overbite.

After taking records and doing a full orthodontic analysis, I was able to see that her tongue habit caused her to have a skeletal and dental open bite, pushing her teeth (and bone) to grow in the wrong places, as she was concerned about.

Luz Mary was skeletally Class II with 4mm of dental Class II at the molars. She had severe crowding of 10-11mm in her upper arch and 8-9mm in her lower arch, creating a convex profile with her lips straining to close when swallowing. Moreover, her upper and lower midlines were shifted to the right and she didn’t like how her smile looked.


Improving Luz Mary's bite and smile

After fully diagnosing Luz Mary and working up her different treatment options, we decided to extract her Upper 4's, Lower 5's and maintain space with a transpalatal arch (TPA). I then used high pull headgear and bonded lingual cleats to address her tongue habit. Using these tools, we were able to correct her open bite while eliminating her myofunctional habit, which was the culprit for her malocclusion all along. I also designed Luz Mary’s IP Appliance® brackets and archwires to level and align within her treatment.

Luz Mary was excited that she could help to improve her smile and was a very cooperative patient. She wore her headgear and elastics very well and was so pleased when she saw the effect of orthodontics taking effect right away. Her teeth now fit properly, going in the right direction. I was extremely happy with the dentofacial improvements we saw in her profile and of the much healthier occlusion she now has.

When checking in with her during a retention appointment, it made me so proud when she said that she smiled a lot more and truly likes how her teeth look now. I noticed it right away, and many of her friends and family do too.

Topics: Orthodontic Tips, Case Study, POS Family

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