Orthopedic Orthodontics 1ORTHOPEDICS is a medical science of structural alignment. The orthopedic model of the body allows for cranial bones moving at their sutures, allowing widening or lengthening of the jaw to complete normal development. ORTHODONTICS is a dental procedure to properly align teeth, and involves the guidance of facial growth and development, which occurs largely during childhood. Together, orthopedic orthodontics align the teeth and jaw to optimize structural alignment and to minimize destructive forces on the teeth, jaw joints, and spine which could cause loss of permanent teeth, tooth and jaw pain, headaches, back pain, trouble breathing, and more.

ALF Lightwire Orthodontics

ALF OrthodonticsThe purpose of Advanced Lightwire Functionals (ALFs) is to orthopedically move structures of the oral cavity using minimal forces without occupying a great deal of space in the mouth. In doing so, the ALF expands the maxilla to allow a greater capacity of oxygen to enter the nasal cavities and trains the tongue to swallow in a proper manner so that the new position created by orthopedic expansion is maintained after its use is discontinued.

Even the most difficult looking teeth are treated without having to extract any teeth!

Learn more about ALF Orthodontics.

ALF Appliance
Dr. Nordstrom ALF Appliance

Other Conditions to Consider

Tongue Ties

What is tongue-tie (ankyloglossia)?

As defined by the International Affiliation of Tongue-tie Professionals: The Embryologic remnant of the tissue in the midline of the undersurface of the tongue and the floor of the mouth. An (abnormal) attachment of the membrane that fastens the tongue to the floor of the mouth which may interfere with the normal mobility and function of the tongue.

Lip Ties

Lip Tie

Mouth Breathing

Mouth Breathing

These kids are sleeping with their mouths open. Nasal breathing is obstructed. They are mouth breathers. The tongue is in the floor of the mouth. This will affect their facial development and the position of their developing teeth.

Breathing Foundation
Dr. Flutter - Mouth Breathing has a negative impact on our teeth and facial development

Tongue Thrusting


Upper open bites caused by lower tongue thrust.

Thumb Sucking

ThumbStrained facial muscles. Note lower lip pushing in.

Why we need to treat abnormal ties:

  • Nutritional problems
  • Colic or excessive gas
  • GI problems: reflux
  • Drooling
  • Gagging
  • Sleep apnea
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Speech problems
  • Jaw growth & development
  • Psychological problems

Diagnosing lip and tongue ties


  • The initial evaluation should be immediately after birth.
  • Full evaluation in the dental office.


  • In the birthing or delivery area.
  • During a knee to knee examination.


  • Using the finger sweep.

Parents who blame the tongue tie primarily for the child's feeding or speech problems are no longer thought to be either neurotic or fooling themselves. Gratifyingly, there are now many professionals who have acknowledged that a structural defect, causing a range of difficulties, is best served by what a prominent Australian pediatric surgeon Dr Martin Glasson has described as "an operation which is simple, brief and virtually devoid of complications".

The tongue tie picture is seen to cause many more side effects than those expected, some problems being more or less important than others. These little known side effects of tongue tie can and do occur, and contribute both to a poor prognosis in therapy, and to a long term reduction in the quality of life of the patient. It is being increasingly accepted by disciplines associated with infants, children and adults with tongue tie that there is now no place for "wait and see" policies when the frenum has been identified and diagnosed as abnormal, and early intervention is the optimal form of management.