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Welcome to Holistic Happenings in Orthodontics! 

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

This month’s topics:

  • We’re open!
  • Tooth Tip
  • Quick Health Tip
  • Breastfeeding solutions: Torticollis – an often-overlooked complication
  • New book and Special Offer from the Hobson Institute about mouth breathing 
  • New Mini-Series: Insights from an IBCLC

We're open!
The office reopened on May 5. Laura and I were excited to start seeing our patients again! Yes, there are some changes and the new protocols are here to keep you and us healthy.

If anyone is not feeling well in your household, please call to reschedule.

Curbside check in: Please text 219.220.2356 when you have parked and wait for our reply.

Please wear a mask upon entering our building. We will be providing hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the office.

Wellness form: Prior to appointment, the form will be reviewed and signed.

Temperature will be taken.

Upon sitting, a 1% peroxide rinse will be provided to rinse with for 1 minute. This will be offered again upon completing appointment.

Ideally, only patients enter our building. However, children are permitted to have one caregiver if desired.

Additional levels of PPE are being worn. 



Let’s stay healthy!

Additionally, new patient exams continue to be offered virtually! We understand that schedules continue to change, thus we’d like to help by continuing to offer our first visit to be done from the convenience of your own home. Please reach out either by email at, text 219.220.2356 or call 219.924.4031 to schedule a Zoom visit today!

Tooth Time Tip!

Tooth Time Tip

Want to be more comfortable during your next orthodontic visit? Check out my Instagram video on stretching.

COVID closures have led to increased use of electronics for home schooling and work. Add this additional screen time to a general change in routine and less moving around and the result is often stiffness in the neck

Upon reopening, I noticed each of my patients struggled to turn their heads to either side during their appointment. Thus, I did a quick video showing some stretches that have really helped me combat the COVID cranked neck. 

Gentle stretches may help you too!

Quick Health Tip

Electronics should be charged outside of children’s bedrooms.

With the all the changes due to COVID, children have been on electronics even more recently. One tip to help reduce their electronic dependency is to keep devices out of their room at night.

Kids can keep themselves awake awaiting a phone notification of a return text, IM, etc. This can lead to sleep deprivation which adds to undesired behavior and reduced attention.

Series: Breastfeeding Challenges & Solutions 

In January, we began a new series on breastfeeding challenges and solutions. Continuing my open book about my own struggles to breastfeed and its affect on my career, I shared with you my recent challenges and solutions with my daughter, Matilyn. Thrilled to share with you that last week Matilyn and I marked 6 months of exclusively breastfeeding (EBF)! 

Why have a shared this journey? Three main reasons:
1st: I understand that
nursing is a mother’s choice and either way she needs support. Breastfeeding requires a support system along with a lot of patience and understanding.
2nd: B
reastfeeding positively affects the growth and development of the child’s face.This positive impact may lessen the need for orthodontics in the future! (Yes, it seems like I’m trying to put myself out of a job.)
3rd: The struggle to find answers about my son's difficulty with nursing, lead me to drastically change the way I practice healthcare. My approach turned holistic, collaborative, and even more compassionate. 

This month's focus is on Wry Neck or Torticollis.
Although I've been sharing my journey with my daughter, there are lessons from my son's struggle that are common to others and in need of discussing. Most importantly, it’s about torticollis. If you haven’t heard of this before, you’re not alone. It’s not something often discussed with new moms.

Have you ever awakened after sleeping and feel a tight neck on one side? Uncomfortable right?! Having a tight neck for one day is tough, can you imagine if you had that every day? Well, that unfortunately can happen and my son had it as a baby. 

My son had infant torticollis. Learn more about infant torticollis here.

It causes the head to tilt. The baby may tend to always look in the same direction. That’s what my son did. Hard to admit, but I didn’t notice this in my son. A tight neck may also complicate nursing. In my case, my son struggled to nurse on one side more than the other. Thankfully a local lactation consultant helped connect the dots for me!

Back story:
I had left the hospital with minimal guidance on nursing my son. I was instructed to hold him one way for one side and another way for the other. As an exhausted new momma, I obliged. 

While at an infant massage class, the physical therapist (PT) asked if she could teach me some stretches to help my son. When I mentioned this to the lactation consultant, she encouraged me to follow up with the PT. She explained that my son may have infant torticollis.

A referral for the comprehensive PT evaluation had to be ordered by a pediatrician. Our pediatrician at that time was extremely reluctant and told me it would not help with breastfeeding and my child was fine but I could do it if I wanted. I pursued it anyway and was very grateful!

The PT was part of the collaborative care my son needed to address our difficulty to nurse, his mouth breathing, poor sleeping, and his initial failure to thrive.

Thank you, Dr. Jenny Thurner for your contribution to this series.
The Effects of Torticollis on Breastfeeding

By Dr. Jenny Thurner

What is Torticollis?
Torticollis in infants usually occurs when a muscle in the neck becomes tight, weakened, or thickened, causing the chin to point toward one shoulder and the head tilts toward the opposite shoulder. The most common form of torticollis is congenital muscular torticollis (CMT), which affects infants and is generally observed within the first 2 months of life. A common thought is it can happen if a baby is lying a certain way when inside her mother. All babies are born with some type of muscle and body restriction; however, not every baby can work these restrictions out on their own once in the world.

Signs your baby might have torticollis:

  • Your baby always seems to be looking to the same side
  • Your baby’s chin seems to be pointing to the side instead of in the center of her body
  • One shoulder looks higher than the other
  • Your baby lies on her back in the same exact position
  • One ear may look a different shape than the other ear
  • Your baby feeds better on one breast better than the other
  • Your baby can’t latch onto one of your breasts
  • Your baby can only latch on and feed in a certain position
  • You or your baby exhibits any of these behaviors during breastfeeding: jaw clenching, nipple compression, vasospasm, exquisite pain, shallow latch, retracted tongue
  • Your baby doesn’t like it when you try to put her in a new position, or quickly moves back to the position she likes best
  • When placed on her tummy, she just cries
  • Your baby has a misshaped head

A baby with torticollis may find it difficult to latch, trouble sucking, and causing you pain. Muscles in the neck connect with the tongue muscle. This can make it hard for your baby to use her tongue well, and she may not get enough milk which can affect your supply. Babies who are showing head preferences as well as having difficulty with feeding, typically are having sensory integration challenges. This means they are having trouble with function: disruption, dysfunction, and dysregulation.

In order to help your baby who has torticollis, regardless if breastfeeding or bottle feeding, focus needs to be on various types of positioning and freedom of movement patterns. Babies respond well to simple strategies. Therefore, when started early, the response to these strategies are very successful in helping your baby develop symmetrical movement patterns and posturing. A physical therapist who specializes in torticollis can help you learn the “why” your baby choses to turn or tilt her head in a certain way. In my experience, her neck tightness stems from trunk and body restrictions, tight oral restrictions, and/or body dysregulation.

Tummy time is a key component in helping your baby work out her restrictions when started early. Chest-to-chest tummy time is encouraged for the first 2-3 weeks of life. Thereafter, you can start placing your baby on a flat surface with supervision. Watch to make sure she can turn her head to both sides. What if your baby dislikes tummy time? In my experience, a baby who does not like tummy time is more dysregulated than her peer who enjoys playing on their stomach. There are strategies to help you and your baby overcome this very important obstacle in her development. Tummy-time-play is the foundation of overall neurological development including eye-hand coordination, muscle strengthening, head control, cognitive exploration, just to name a few.

Helping you and your baby create a flow of ease with breastfeeding sometimes needs to be a collaboration of resources. A lactation consultant can promote positioning and muscle activation strategies.  If your baby does not respond promptly to various positioning, a referral to an infant pediatric physical therapist is recommended to reduce the risk of craniofacial deformity (head misshaping) and developmental problems. Don’t wait and see! Advocate for you and your baby, and seek assistance from someone with expertise in treating torticollis.
Flat Head Syndrome

About Jenny Thurner, PT, DPT, CIMI
Jenny Thurner is a doctor of physical therapy and certified infant massage instructor. She has focused her career on pediatrics over the last 10 years. She is an evaluator for Indiana First Steps Early Intervention program, and she owns her own private practice, Valpo Therapy Kids, LLC. Within her private practice, she specializes in the infant population (birth – 12 months); more specifically birth to pre-crawling.

Dr. Thurner is also a certified infant massage instructor through Infant Massage USA. When she was a foster parent, she cared for a sweet young baby who was exposed to drugs in utero, with outwards signs of withdrawal and colic. After sleepless nights and trialing every therapeutic trick in her toolbox, she knew she was missing something to help calm this baby. This is when she expanded her training to seek answers to help not only the baby she was caring for, but also other infants who were experiencing dysregulation. There are many reasons for a dysregulated baby; not just drug exposure. Therefore, she researched and learned strategies that seem to help a dysregulated baby reach their optimal function and gain happiness.  One of these strategies was infant massage.

Proper breathing - one of the key components to a lifelong beautiful smile and overall good health. Yes, the nose plays a role in oral health and vice versa. Weird to think about until you really think about it!

How does your mouth feel when you have a cold or when you've been told that you snored all night? Is it dry? Is your breath icky? Are your lips dry and/or cracked?

Wouldn't it be great to have fewer colds? How would your life change if you no longer snored? Or if your bed partner stopped snoring?! How would it feel to leave the house without worrying about where your Chapstick is? Wouldn't it be nice to stop wondering if your breath is stinky?

Often the missing link is overlooked mouth breathing. That's a unique aspect of my orthodontic practice. I help patients achieve nose/nasal breathing by:

1st: Recognizing their mouth breathing

2nd: Collaborating with additional appropriate healthcare providers to properly address the underlying concern. 

Thus, I'm excited that there is another book recently released that helps people take control of their health! The author of Breath was recently interviewed on NPR. Check it out here. 

Thankfully, we have a wonderful 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.
1 of 3 special small sessions with Dr. Hobson and the Apollonia Dental Study Club. 
Dr. Jennifer Hobson and Dr. Catherine Murphy at the Hobson Institute. 

New series: Insights from an IBCLC


By Diane Gora, RN, IBCLC
The early weeks of breastfeeding are a time of great adjustment for families. Some families sail through this time with ease while others find the time to be very challenging. Breastfeeding can be a journey into the unknown and the unpredictable. Each mother approaches breastfeeding with her own expectations about what it will be like and then reality rears its exhausted head. For most of us, breastfeeding doesn’t initially meet our expectations. 
So what expectations should you have during the early weeks of living with a breastfeeding baby?
  • Expect your baby to cry for reasons other than hunger: any change in your baby’s surroundings or sensations he experiences can result in a cry. Around 6 weeks the hunger cry becomes easier to distinguish between cries for other reasons.
  • Expect to hold your baby…a lot! Nature meant for newborns to be carried by their mothers (and fathers) most of the time. Our babies do not walk within moments of birth and typically take up to 9 to 12 months to mature enough to attempt walking. Their immaturity leaves them dependent on nurturing adults to carry them and keep them safe.
  • Expect to breastfeed your baby 8 to 12 times every 24 hours and on some days even a little more. Recognize that there is no schedule when it comes to breastfeeding newborns.
  • Expect a typical nursing session (when the baby nurses from both breasts) to last 35 to 55 minutes with a 15 minute break and a happy (though still searching for more food) baby in between breasts.
  • Expect nipple tenderness, especially if this is your first baby. This tenderness should only last for a few seconds after the baby latches. Count to 10 and if it still hurts carefully break the latch and start over. Expect your baby to be unhappy about that!
  • Expect your breasts to feel less full after a feeding and that the more you breastfeed the more milk you will make.
  • Expect to be exhausted and the need to ask for help during this bittersweet time. It does take a village to raise a child.
  • Expect the unexpected, feel the comfort of gazing on your baby’s face and treasure those eye-locking moments when your baby engages with you. Breastfeeding is so much more than just feeding a baby. It is a way of life, surrender to it.
  • Expect to enjoy breastfeeding your baby and savor the moments you will treasure for a lifetime.
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
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In Harmony Orthodontics

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

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In Harmony Orthodontics · 2025 W Glen Park Ave · Griffith, IN 46319-3704 · USA

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