Holistic Happenings in Orthodontics!
In Harmony Orthodontics - Dr. Catherine Murphy, DDS, MSD
This month’s topics:
- Exciting update!
- Fun Fact
- Spotlight on Myo: Orthodontics and Myofunctional Therapy with Joy Lantz , RDH, COM
- Spotlight on Myo featuring Sydney
- Tooth Time Tip: Infant Oral Health with Dr. Tammy Gierke Button, DDS, MSD, MA – New Series!
- New Mini-Series: Insights from an IBCLC
Exciting Update: New Website Content
Our website has been freshened up! Visit www.inharmonyorthodontics.com and check out these new features:
- Access to past newsletters.
- New phone number, 219.220.2356, to text or call. Previous number, 219.924.4031 is still OK to call.
- Services page: We’ve added health coaching and professional coaching.
- Videos, books & articles on the Resources page.
- Updated Patient Forms. Most are now “fillable” which means that there is no need to print. Just complete online and send back via email.
- Check out the About Us section for a surprise! Clue: it is written in italics.
Fun Fact: State Insect
Indiana now has a state insect! It is the Say’s Firefly named after the Hoosier, Thomas Say. Don’t know who Thomas Say is? Well, I didn’t either. I’m thankful to Amanda Pickett from the Northwest Indiana Dentla Society for sharing the article below with me.
The article below is from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website:
Say's Firefly Indiana's Official State Insect
Say’s Firefly became Indiana’s state insect when legislation proclaiming it as such was signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb on March 23, 2018.
Before that, Indiana was one of only three states that did not have a state insect. Say’s Firefly is native to North America, the United States, and Indiana. Many other states have state insects that are not native to their areas.
Not only is this species of firefly native to Indiana, it also is named after a Hoosier—Thomas Say. Say is considered the Father of North American Entomology and has also been called the Father of American Zoology. Entomology is the science and study of insects. Zoology is the science and study of animals. Say was living in New Harmony, in Posey County, when he first described the Say’s Firefly, in 1826. He had discovered it in Philadelphia, his prior home, the year before. Its scientific name is Pyractomena angulata. It is also known as the Angled Candle Firefly.
There are simple, tangible steps you can take to help protect the fireflies of your community
By The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Across the country, in grassy yards and open fields, darkening forests and yawning river canyons, fireflies — aka lightning bugs or glow-worms — are signaling. Fireflies are, without a doubt, some of our best loved insects.
And while some species appear to be stable or even expanding their ranges, others are declining. Mounting anecdotal evidence, backed by expert opinion, show that fireflies are in trouble. Although we aren't certain what is driving these declines, habitat loss, light pollution, and pesticide use are thought to be the primary threats to fireflies across the globe. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help. From providing habitat to turning off your outdoor lights and eliminating pesticide use, there are simple, tangible steps you can take to help protect the fireflies of your community.
Read the rest of the article here.
Spotlight on Myo
This month we are pleased to have Joy Lantz, RDH, COM to join in the discussion.
Myo and Ortho Part 1
By Joy Lantz, RDH, COM®
Myofunctional therapy and orthodontic treatment work hand in hand. Orthodontic treatment focuses on moving teeth and myofunctional therapy works on strengthening and teaching muscles.
There are three general goals with myofunctional therapy:
1. Lips closed with nasal breathing
2. Tongue resting in the palate (roof of the mouth)
3. Proper swallowing
Sometimes we find the reason patients need myofunctional therapy is due to these three things not happening consistently. The result of that are changes in how bones and teeth are developed. This can mean crooked teeth, not enough room for teeth to come in and narrow high palates. Unfortunately, these issues are not just cosmetic.
They can cause problems with breathing, chewing, sleeping, and many other basic life functions. This series will focus on each goal and why they are markers for success in myofunctional therapy.
The first goal for therapy is lips closed with nasal breathing. In short, mouths are for eating and noses are for breathing. Your nose has special mechanisms that encourage healthy breathing such as hairs to filter air coming into your body. Mouth breathing isn’t a normal function and can lead to other issues.
Children that mouth breathe can actually have facial bones and muscles develop differently than they should. We have seen patients develop long face syndrome, which can lead to a permanent structure change in the bones of the skull. Additionally, strong muscles in your cheeks are not used when you breathe through your mouth. This can lead to use of other muscles to overwork. Migraines and jaw pain can be issues that result.
Orthodontic treatment is accomplished with forces slowly and consistently being put on teeth to guide them into the correct position. When your lips are closed and you breathe through your nose, the force of the lips putting slight constant pressure can help stabilize orthodontic treatment. Improper muscle usage in your mouth and surrounding areas can counteract that force. At times, it can actually undo all the work that was done during ortho treatment.
When it comes to orthodontics, a colleague Linda D’Onofrio says, “Lips are your face’s braces.” Depending on the patient, it can be beneficial for myofunctional therapy to happen prior to orthodontic treatment. Teaching patients how muscles of the mouth, cheeks, and tongue work properly can make a big difference in how long ortho treatment is and how successful it is. The ultimate goal of both therapies is for stability and sustainability of structure and function of the teeth and muscles.
About Joy Lantz, RDH, COM®
Joy Lantz is a registered dental hygienist and a board certified orofacial myologist.
She is the founder and owner at Oral Function Specialties in Tinley Park & Palos Heights, IL. She received her AAS degree in dental hygiene in 1998 at Prairie State College. Joy was trained in orofacial myofunctional therapy in 2016. She received her COM certification in 2017 and is a member of the IAOM. She is an organized and innovative professional.
Joy is known for her collaborative approach to working with patients and other professionals to facilitate a predictable outcome of exceptional results. More information can be found by visiting
Joy Lantz, RDH, COM®
IAOM Board Certified Orofacial Myologist
IAOM Board of Directors Representative
Join us next month as Joy delves deeper into Part 2 of this discussion on myo and ortho.
Spotlight on Myo featuring Sydney
Do you like mac ‘n cheese? Peanut butter and jelly? Cake and ice cream? Sleeping in on a stormy morning? Well if so, you’re also going to love Orthodontics and Myofunctional therapy aka Myo. Why do they go so well together? They complement each other.
Lips apart? Orthodontics resolves the effects on the teeth when mouth breathing. However, the lips need to be retrained in order for this effect to last. Myo retrains the lips and assists with retraining the breathing through the nose rather than the mouth.
Sydney was thrilled to hear your response from her video last month.
Here is the update she gave recently: IG: dr_cathy_
Tooth Time Tip
Great oral health starts from the beginning. We are excited to have Dr. Tammy Gierke Button, DDS, MSD, MA sharing her expertise as a Perinatal Oral Health Education Consultant.
Infant Oral Hygiene
By Dr. Tammy Gierke Button
You might be surprised to know that it is important to clean your baby’s mouth starting the day they are born for many reasons.
- During birth, your baby begins to acquire and grow bacteria in their mouth and gut. This is a very important process and vital to your baby’s health.
- Breastfeeding your baby also allows for healthy bacteria to be passed to your baby from feeding and from your milk.
- The primary caregiver also passes bacteria to their baby through loving gestures such as kisses.
Cleaning a baby’s mouth once daily from the time they are born helps to remove excess breast milk or formula from the mouth. Keeping your baby’s tongue and tissues clean helps to promote the growth of healthier bacteria and removes unhealthy bacteria before they have a chance to take hold and become stable in the mouth. This includes the bacteria that cause cavities which can live in a baby’s mouth even before they have teeth.
Before your baby has any teeth, use a wet infant wash cloth to gently wipe their cheeks, tongue, and gums where their teeth would eventually grow. It is best to do this first thing in the morning after their “breakfast” feed, and at night before you put them down for their “bedtime.”
Wiping out your baby’s mouth from the day they are born also has the benefit of getting them comfortable with oral hygiene. Since it has been part of the routine from day one, your transition to tooth brushing will be much easier.
Once your baby has teeth, there are other things to consider. Babies may get their first tooth around six months old, the same time it is usually recommended to start solid foods. Once a baby’s diet consists of more than breast milk or formula, frequent nighttime feedings (breast or formula) can contribute to tooth decay. It is extremely important to make sure your baby’s teeth are brushed in the morning after breakfast and at night before bed to remove plaque from the teeth and any food debris from the mouth. When your baby wakes up at night to feed, it is best to wipe their mouth out with a wet infant wash cloth to remove the excess milk or formula. Hopefully your baby is used to this and it won’t cause them to wake or become fussy.
Whatever method you choose to feed your baby their first foods, make sure you are providing whole foods that do not have any added sugars. Unprocessed foods are the healthiest choices and will promote the healthiest mouth and gut bacteria to develop. This will also protect against childhood tooth decay. Choose whole fruit instead of juice. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children under the age of one do not consume any fruit juice.
Early habits can help develop healthy bacteria that will be beneficial to your baby’s overall health, not just the health of their teeth and gums. If you have any questions about how to keep your baby’s mouth clean or nighttime feeding practices, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to talk with you.
For more information, visit Dr. Button's website:
About Dr. Tammy Gierke Button DDS, MSD, MA
Executive Director, Southshore Skipping Stones
Perinatal Oral Health Education Consultant
Dr. Button has been a pediatric dentist for over 13 years. She founded and directs Southshore Skipping Stones which is a prenatal and infant oral health education foundation. Dr. Button focuses her professional expertise on the perinatal time which is during pregnancy and the first months after a baby’s birth. This time is of great importance because of the impact mom’s oral health has on her overall health, the health of her pregnancy, and the oral health of her baby.
New series: Insights from an IBCLC
BREASTFEEDING: Being Exclusive
(Healthy, Term Infants)
By Diane Gora, RN, IBCLC
What does it mean to exclusively breastfeed and why is it important?
Over the years we have added new vocabulary to describe breastfeeding. Now, more than in years gone by, some mothers decide to breast and formula feed, switching between direct feeding at the breast and bottle feeding with either expressed breast milk or formula. Other mothers choose to express their breast milk and never directly breast feed. And because more mothers work outside the home, breastmilk feeding has increased substantially. While it is true that some breastmilk is better than no breast milk, we have discovered that the benefits of “exclusive breastfeeding” at the breast is the best feeding.
Exclusive breastfeeding is described as feeding only breast milk (at the breast or mother’s own expressed breast milk), no food or water except vitamins, minerals, an/or medications. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of your baby’s life with continuing to breastfeed for at least the first year, and beyond if mutually agreeable. Once other foods are added to the baby’s diet, the weaning process begins and mother’s milk supply adjusts accordingly. Your breast milk is all your baby really needs for the first six months.
Because of the increases in the numbers of mothers who choose to feed their babies expressed breast milk, we learned that pumping changes the composition of breast milk. While expressed breast milk is still preferable to formula for your baby’s health, collecting, storing, and preparing expressed breast milk can alter the components. This is not meant to discourage moms from exclusive expressed breast milk feedings but to help mothers make informed decisions regarding how their baby feeds.
In today’s world, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months may be more difficult to achieve than it was several years ago. Mothers doubt their ability to produce enough milk for their babies. They often get inconsistent information and believe that because their baby feeds so frequently during early weeks, they surely do not have enough milk. And going back to work, at any time in the first 6 months, makes exclusive breastfeeding seem like an impossible task.
Many pediatricians, despite their own Academy’s recommendations, continue to encourage the initiation of other foods between 4 and 6 months. This can be interpreted by mothers that their milk is no longer sufficient to meet their baby’s needs and lead to early weaning and decreased milk production.
In the science world of lactation, we have found that the duration of breastfeeding is dose-related, meaning the longer you breastfeed your baby, the healthier your baby may be in childhood, and in some cases the protection to certain health issues can extend well into adulthood.
Exclusive breastfeeding is difficult in our society and the demands placed on families make it seem unachievable. But it is a goal that when achieved, has lifelong benefits for mom and her baby. When it comes to breastfeeding, more is better.
|Thank you for reading Holistic Happenings in Orthodontics Newsletter.
Thank you for forwarding to others that may be interested!
What topics are you interested in learning more about? Please let us know by emailing
Reminder, your first consultation is free! Text: 219.220.2356, call: 219.924.4031 or send an email: firstname.lastname@example.org