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Welcome to Holistic Happenings in Orthodontics! 

In Harmony Orthodontics - Dr. Catherine Murphy, DDS, MSD 

This month’s topics:

  • Spotlight on Myo aka Myofunctional Therapy: Physical Therapy for the Face
  • Tooth Time Tip
  • Free Webinar June 30
  • Health Tip: Clean Your Cloth Mask
  • New Mini-Series: Insights from an IBCLC

Spotlight on Myo aka Myofunctional Therapy:
Physical Therapy for the Face

One of the things that sets my practice apart is my passion for finding the WHY behind the crooked teeth. I’m passionate about this because crooked teeth are that way for a reason. You want a stunning smile and the teeth are actually just part of your smile.

The name of my practice is In Harmony Orthodontics because my treatment is done to help create balance/harmony in the face between the teeth, lips, cheeks, tongue, basically the entire face.

Can you recall seeing someone’s smile and wondering why it looked off despite having straight teeth? Perhaps the teeth stuck out too far which is often referred to as horse teeth. Maybe it’s a smile where the teeth look narrow and you see a lot of the cheek. Or perhaps when they smile, they seem to lose their lips.

Straighter teeth can be achieved by almost anyone. Heck, there are options to do it at home. (Yikes!) My bet is that their smile is not in harmony with their face.

Want to know how to achieve stunning smiles through facial harmony? One aspect is working with a myofunctional therapist. New to the term? No worries, many are. That’s why I talk a lot about it.

What is myofunctional therapy?

Myofunctional therapy is also called orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT) or orofacial myology. (myo = muscle, oro = mouth). At the office, we refer to it as “myo.”
This discipline first evaluates the function of the facial and mouth muscles and then treats the disorders (orofacial myofunctional disorders – OMDs) through therapeutic exercises and behavioral modification. This can include habit elimination for thumb/finger/tongue sucking and fingernail biting.
Many symptoms are associated with dysfunctions of the muscles of the facial and mouth. Ask yourself if you or your child have or experience any of the following

  • crooked teeth
  • relapse following braces
  • mouth breathing
  • headaches
  • digestive problems
  • tongue tie/ankyloglossia/tethered oral tissues (TOTs)
  • TMJ
  • drooling
  • clenching and/or grinding of teeth
  • failure to thrive
  • middle ear concerns
  • habits such as, but not limited to, thumb/finger/tongue sucking, chewing on objects such as pens/pencils/fingernails, lip/cheek biting
  • forward head posture

I completed the intensive “Comprehensive Introduction to Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy” course given by Joy Moeller in February 2016. This course answered many of the questions I had which were not being answered in typical orthodontic continuing education classes.

This course also showed me that many other professionals outside of dentistry were also seeking answers to symptoms that were showing up in the mouth, such as tongue thrust, teeth grinding, and snoring.

A few weeks ago, a patient named Sydney was raving about starting myo. I sat there listening and thought, “Gosh, we should have recorded that!” So following her appointment, we actually did record it so others could better understand the importance. Check out the video here.  


What to learn more? Call or text 219.220.2356 to set up a complimentary initial exam or send an email to

Tooth Time Tip

Due to the COVID pandemic, some dental offices are still trying to catch up on all the missed appointments, especially for dental cleanings. So this is a reminder to change your toothbrush every 3 months!

Want to make a positive impact on the environment as well? Try a bamboo brush!

Why bamboo? Think about the reminder I just gave you to change your toothbrush every 3 months. That means that each person should go through 4 brushes every year.

Let’s assume you got your first brush at 6 months old and you live until you’re 85. That’s 338 brushes! Yikes! If everyone in the world followed this recommendation, 23 billion toothbrushes would be trashed each year.

Check out the story of plastic toothbrushes from National Geographic.


FREE Webinar: James Nestor, author of Breath
June 30 @ 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm EDT

The American Academy of Physiological Medicine & Dentistry (AAPMD) is a fantastic organization that I belong to.

Last month I featured a new book release, Breath, by James Nestor. This month I’m thrilled to inform you of a free webinar that the AAPMD is offering with this fantastic author. Check out 

Have you already started reading and want to work on your own breath?  We are fortunate to have a Buteyko breathing clinic near us at The Hobson Institute. Dr. Jennifer Hobson has graciously provided a special small series of her course to me and the members of the Apollonia Dental Study Club during this pandemic. Included in her sessions was a special offer to our patients. When I asked if I could share with everyone who reads my newsletter Dr. Hobson responded, "Yes, of course! This information needs to get out there and be heard. I want to help especially now with the respiratory concerns of COVID-19."

Working with Dr. Jennifer Hobson has been wonderful for my patients. Though involuntary, breathing can be retrained to help eliminate the cause of a host of physical and emotional problems including asthma, anxiety, attention deficit disorders, snoring, and sleep apnea. By simply being mindful of the facial and oral structure, Dr. Hobson has helped patients experience positive results through her myofunctional therapy and breathing clinics.

She continues her graciousness by extending the discount of her detailed course. 

Simple steps for THE PATIENT to view the online breathing clinic:

You will find a description of the three sessions (Intro and Session 2/3)

2.  If you scroll to the bottom of the page you will see where you can click to “Buy Now” for the Intro program and the Session 2/3 program.

NOTE: Not to get confused, the "Live clinic" is the one that is  in-person version. $300 for four 1.5 hour classes.

3. Enter in the Patient discount code: 50  This code will reduce the amount to $50.00. You will have to go through PayPal to get the link for the online clinic in an email.  

4.  Look for an email from Dr. Hobson. It comes immediately and lands in Junk or SPAM folders in most cases. Please remember to check your SPAM or Junk folders as it is a different email address that your computer may not recognize. The email is immediate so you should see it right away.

5.  Remember that there are two products: Intro and Session 2/3. The discount 50 code works for both.

Dr. Jennifer Hobson and Dr. Catherine Murphy at the Hobson Institute. 

Health Tip: Clean Your Cloth Mask

Cloth masks have become a new accessory for many of us. As we attempt to find ones that fit our faces and our needs, cleaning them may not be on our minds.

Remember, you are wearing the mask to help keep your germs to yourself, so those germs need to be washed out!

Another new accessory we want to avoid is “maskne” – mask-induced chin and cheek breakouts! Here are some tips to help you:

-Wash your cloth mask daily or more frequently if you are sneezing into it, it gets dropped on the ground, or is soiled in any way.

-Wash in detergent without additives, such as dyes and artificial fragrances that may irritate your skin. The coronavirus is killed by most detergents so the important thing is just doing the cleaning.

-For instances that require bleach washing of your mask, keep in mind the need to fully rinse the mask and wash in a very well ventilated area. You don’t want to breathe in the bleach while cleaning or while wearing the mask.

-Carry more than one mask with you. Keep the extras in the car in case the one you are wearing gets soiled. 

-Have fun expressing yourself with your mask! Choose lively patterns and designs to go with your outfit and your mood. This accessory will likely be around for many months.

New series: Insights from an IBCLC

BREASTFEEDING: More Than Just Feeding

By Diane Gora, RN, IBCLC

During the early days of breastfeeding, one of the most frequently asked questions by mothers is, “Am I doing it right?” While it’s true that there are some mechanical aspects of breastfeeding that can work for or against a successful experience, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to breastfeed. Enjoying your breastfeeding experience may be more reliant on recognizing what you innately know rather than focusing on your technique.
Both mom and baby have innate reflexes that trigger breastfeeding. Your baby is born with inborn feeding behaviors that are a part of her survival skills. Recognizing these mother and infant reflexes can make early breastfeeding easier.
Without even thinking about it, your body helps control your baby’s temperature just by holding him close. Holding a baby skin-to-skin also helps regulate his blood sugar, heart rate and breathing as well as enhancing growth.
Your baby fusses and your instincts are to soothe her (without thinking about it). This is oxytocin at work, the hormone equated with mothering. Oxytocin triggers affectionate contact, and breastfeeding mothers have increased levels of this wonderful hormone.
Simple daily interactions with your baby: touching, gazing into each other’s eyes and just talking to him can improve his coordination during feeding attempts.
During feedings, some mothers will use their fingers to stroke their baby’s feet, particularly the soles of the baby’s feet. This simple action triggers the release of the baby’s lip and tongue reflexes and helps the baby latch and suck.
When parents respond to their baby’s fussing and crying (referred to as “responsive care”) they are actually teaching their baby how to handle stress, strong emotions, and how to relate to others. Responding to these behaviors in your newborn helps calm and improves her ability to breastfeed.
For newborns, feeding is reflex-driven. For parents, breastfeeding appears to be partly innate and partly learned. Adults can over-think breastfeeding. Focusing on your baby’s innate feeding reflexes rather than learning specific feeding techniques helps your baby develop a more coordinated latch and as a result, baby feeds better with fewer problems.
The message: try not to let your intellect override your instincts when it comes to breastfeeding. You and your baby innately know what to do!
Thank you for reading Holistic Happenings in Orthodontics Newsletter! Thank you for forwarding to others that may be interested. 

What topics are of greatest interest to you? Please let us know by emailing:

Reminder, your first consultation is free! Text: 219.220.2356, call 219.924.4031 or send an
Copyright © 2020 In Harmony Orthodontics, LLC, All rights reserved.

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In Harmony Orthodontics

2025 W. Glen Park Ave. (45th St)
Griffith, IN 46319

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