Myofunctional & Oral Health

James River Family Dentistry is pleased to offer The Myobrace® System to children and pre-teens to address the underlying causes of poor myofunctional habits.

James River Family Dentistry Myofunctional

Examples of poor myofunctional habits that you may notice in your child include:

  • Mouth breathing and possibly snoring at night
  • Chronic open mouth posture at rest (lips are open instead of closed)
  • Speech and articulation problems such as a lisp
  • Dental abnormalities like an overbite or an open bite

By diagnosing and treating poor myofunctional habits early, your child’s mouth and jaw can grow to its full potential reducing and possibly eliminating the need for orthodontic treatment.


What is The Myobrace® System?

The Myobrace® System uses a series of removable intraoral appliances designed to grow with children and gently guide dentition. Using light forces to align the teeth, Myobrace® helps children learn to breathe through their nose, rest the tongue in its proper position (roof of the mouth) and widen the upper arch to make room for permanent teeth.

Myobrace® treatment can:

  • Correct poor oral habits such as thumb-sucking and pacifier use
  • Develop and align the jaw
  • Straighten teeth by gently guiding newly erupting teeth
  • Optimize facial development
  • Restore proper function of the jaw and tongue muscles to enable correct chewing motion

In addition to a series of appliances worn for one hour each day and overnight while sleeping, Myobrace® offers a patient education program, Myobrace® Activities, that includes activities to further correct the myofunctional habits that cause improper dental and jaw development. The activities include: breathing, tongue, swallowing, lip and cheek exercises and should be performed twice a day in addition to wearing the appliance.

Meet Hannah

Meet Hannah! She’s currently using the Myobrace® System. Check out what she has to say about her Myobrace® experience!

Benefits of The Myobrace® System

Studies have shown that correcting poor myofunctional health habits early leads to greater success of training the orofacial muscles and jaw to work together properly. When the muscles of the face, jaw and tongue work together, a patient will experience a lifetime of benefits such as:

  • Improved biting and chewing
  • Restores the natural function of the airway, eliminating mouth breathing and sleep apnea
  • No braces approach to orthodontic treatment yielding straight and aligned teeth
  • Improving overall health

If you think your child may have any of the symptoms of poor myofunctional health habits, James River Family Dentistry encourages you to take action early. To find out if your child is a candidate for The Myobrace® System, call or request an appointment online for an evaluation.

Sleep Disordered Breathing

Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) refers to breathing difficulties during sleep, affecting not only adults, but children as well. Sleep apnea is a condition that often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and can have a significant impact your child’s quality of life. Studies show that 9 out of 10 children suffer from some form of SDB symptoms depriving them of the adequate amount of good quality sleep needed for growing, development, focusing and learning.

Symptoms of SDB

Some common symptoms of pediatric sleep disordered breathing include:

Pauses in breathing
Coughing or choking during sleep
Mouth breathing
Restless sleep
Wetting the bed during the night
Dark circles under eyes
Chronic allergies
Swollen adenoids and tonsils

How SDB Affects Children

The most obvious symptom of SDB is snoring and it can be loud or soft occuring most nights (not just during illness). Snoring causes a child to wake constantly as the body tries to maintain the proper oxygen levels. During the day, this pattern of wakefulness can cause children to be or have:

Low performance in school
Daytime sleepiness
Behavioral problems
Lack of focus during school or other learning environments
Learning difficulties stemming from lack of focus
Slowed growth

At James River Family Dentistry, we know that restful, good quality sleep is vital to the growth and development of children. If you think your child may suffer from sleep disordered breathing even if the only symptom is mouth breathing during sleep, we can help.

Early evaluation and diagnosis of sleep apnea or sleep disordered breathing is key in correcting the problem and retraining the oral and facial muscles to work together keeping the mouth closed during sleep. 

Connor’s Story

Request An Appointment

The first step toward a beautiful, healthy smile is scheduling an appointment. Please contact our office at 804-323-4200 or complete the online appointment request form below. Our scheduling coordinator will contact you to confirm your appointment.

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