What is ALF Therapy?
ALF Multidisciplinary Treatment Team
ALF or “Advanced Light Force” is a specialized dental appliance developed by a dentist with input from osteopathic physicians. Thin wires made from a special metal are fitted behind the upper and lower teeth to gently move the facial bones allowing the teeth to follow. ALF widens the dental arch (or roof of the mouth), so there is sufficient space for all teeth. It also creates space for the tongue to rest in the roof of the mouth which is its normal resting position.
This appliance can be used for correcting crooked teeth, and offers many other health benefits. ALF not only returns the smile to its healthiest shape, but also improves breathing, since proper tongue placement results in breathing through the nose. Correct nose-breathing is the hallmark of health and when paired with a beautiful smile can boost physical and emotional health on many levels.
The ALF treatment team consists of a dentist, osteopathic physician and myofunctional therapist who have had special training to work with ALF.
ALF for sleep apnea, ADHD, and allergies
ALF isn’t just to improve your smile, it’s also been used as a therapy for other conditions where breathing, tongue placement, and teeth alignment make a big impact. ALF treatment teams use it to provide substantial benefits for patients with many different conditions including sleep apnea, ADHD, and allergies as well as anxiety, traumatic brain injury and TMJ problems.
Used correctly as part of a holistic protocol, it helps to balance the nervous system supporting the body’s innate ability to heal itself.
ALF therapy can be used in people of all ages, including children as young as 3 years old. It is so effective because it mimics the ideal forces needed for optimal growth and development of the face.
The ALF is also helpful for individuals who have slight orthodontic relapses looking to finetune their smile as well as create a more stable bone structure that stays in place without retainers.
While ALF treatment encourages us to breathe through the nose for healthier breathing patterns, patients still may have difficulty breaking mouth-breathing habits. The Buteyko Technique, developed in the 1950’s by Russian medical scientist Dr. Konstantin Buteyko, was created to help normalize breathing and is a great companion therapy used in conjunction with ALF.
The vast majority of Americans have unhealthy breathing patterns which can lead to illness. Contrary to popular belief that you should take bigger breaths, in fact, taking larger breaths, more often, depletes oxygen levels instead of rebalancing them.
When you breathe less air, in the proper way, you get better oxygen exchange. With the light breathing taught in the Buteyko Technique, you are able to better oxygenate your cells and therefore access more energy. When you breathe too much, it’s termed chronic hyperventilation (or chronic over-breathing) and it is a root cause of symptoms most people suffer from. But when breathing patterns are corrected, we see many benefits for patients including lessening or cessation of allergies and asthma, plus decreased anxiety and better sleep.