What Is Your Temporomandibular Joint?

The temporomandibular joint is the “hinge” that attaches your jawbone to your skull. You have two temporomandibular joints, one located on either side of your face. They allow you to open and close your mouth for speaking, chewing, yawning, and more. When something goes wrong with your TMJ, this is called TMJ disorder, or TMD. This is often a painful or uncomfortable condition that requires treatment from your orthodontist in Solon, OH.

About Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

You probably know someone who has experienced TMD because it’s fairly common and may have many causes, including:

  • Trauma to the face or jaw
  • Chronic conditions such as arthritis
  • Long-term teeth grinding or clenching
  • Disc erosion
  • Connective-tissue diseases

TMD may be very painful with symptoms such as jaw tenderness, ear ache, or an inability to open and close your jaw. Pain may radiate throughout your face, making it difficult to pin down the exact source. Fortunately, your orthodontist can easily diagnose and treat TMD.

How to Manage TMD

If you’ve been diagnosed with mild TMD, your orthodontist may have specific instructions to help you manage it, including:

  • Applying hot or cold compresses to painful areas
  • Performing simple jaw exercises
  • Ceasing bad habits, such as nail-biting or resting your jaw in your hand
  • Avoiding wide-mouth movements, such as yawning or singing
  • Practicing relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga

More serious instances of TMD may require treatment with medications such as pain relievers or muscle relaxers. Wearing an occlusal appliance, such as a mouth guard, may be helpful as well. In some instances, physical therapy or surgery may be required to improve the symptoms of TMD.

Help for Temporomandibular Joint Pain in Solon, OH

For help with TMJ disorder in Solon, OH, call McGuire Orthodontics and Facial Orthopedics to schedule a consultation today.

Uses for Myofunctional Therapy

Myofunctional therapy is much like physical therapy, but instead of exercising your arms and legs, you learn to exercise the muscles that support your face, mouth, and tongue. There are many applications for myofunctional therapy, including helping you sleep better at night. Your orthodontist in Solon, OH, can give you more information on the many ways this innovative therapy can improve your life.

Why Participate in Myofunctional Therapy?

This therapy consists of simple, repetitive exercises that help to develop the muscles that support breathing, swallowing, speaking, and more. In fact, it may be a useful treatment for a number of common disorders, including:

  • Blocked nasal passages
  • Open-mouthed breathing
  • Speech disorders
  • Tongue thrust
  • Sleep-disordered breathing
  • Eating dysfunction

Myofunctional therapy is often helpful for young children who have developed damaging oral habits, such as thrusting the tongue during swallowing. And it may help adults regain their normal eating ability following facial surgery.

What Kind of Exercises Are Required?

You won’t become winded performing myofunctional therapy exercises because you’re working out only the select group of muscles in and around your face. Your therapist may have you practice movements such as saying the vowel “A” in repetition or sucking yogurt through a very narrow straw. You might blow a birthday party horn repeatedly or practice blowing up a balloon a certain way. These are all exercises that move specific facial muscles, such as those required for swallowing, inhaling, exhaling, chewing, and speaking.

Myofunctional Therapy in Solon, OH

If you’re interested in exploring myofunctional therapy in Solon, OH, McGuire Orthodontics and Facial Orthopedics may be able to help. Call today to schedule a convenient time to come in. One of our friendly and experienced clinicians will be happy to help you decide whether this treatment is right for you.

Introduction to Airway Orthodontics

Airway Orthodontics is a branch of orthodontia that focuses on improving the way we breathe. It can be especially beneficial for adults who suffer with obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. It’s also helpful for children who are at risk of developing sleep apnea. OSA has been linked to conditions such as learning disability, heart disease, and chronic ear infections. Learning to manage it through simple procedures that enlarge the airway, known as airway orthodontics or airway-focused orthodontics, is an ideal solution. Your orthodontist in Shaker Heights, OH, can tell you more about the many benefits of this noninvasive treatment.

Examples of Airway Orthodontics

Airway orthodontics target the way you take in and release air. In order to get more air in, your orthodontist may recommend braces that expand the arches in pediatric patients or they may suggest myofunctional exercises for adults. These are exercises that strengthen and train the muscles that support the face, tongue, and jaw. Your orthodontist may also recommend appliances or procedures that realign your jaw, correct problems with tongue position, or improve the way you breathe when sleeping. CPAP machines are good examples.

Uses for Airway Orthodontics

There are many applications for airway orthodontics. In fact, they can be used to improve the quality of life for many patients, especially for those who struggle with common disorders such as:

  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea
  • Restless sleep
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Chronic allergies

Sometimes, patients who have suffered all their lives with common maladies find sudden relief through the science of airway orthodontics.

Airway Orthodontics in Shaker Heights, OH

If you’re interested in learning more about airway-focused orthodontics in Shaker Heights, OH, call McGuire Orthodontics and Facial Orthopedics to schedule a consultation. One of our friendly and experienced clinicians is always ready to help.

Living With Braces as an Adult — Three Things You Need to Know

If you’re like most people, you still associate braces with young teenagers. However, an increasing number of adults are opting for braces for a variety of reasons. One partial cause of this is that because of advances in dental technology have allowed most people to keep their teeth for the rest of their lives — only a few short decades ago, the majority of senior citizens wore dentures. This has caused people to feel more invested in maintaining an attractive, functional smile for as long as possible. The second reason is that modern orthodontics for adults means that patients won’t be wearing a mouthful of metal.

The following are just three things that you should know about braces for adults.

Braces for Adults Are Discreet

Clear braces make it possible for adults to wear braces and still maintain a professional, polished appearance. Clear braces are barely noticeable, an others may not even realize you are wearing them at all. Even for those who do notice, clear braces aren’t nearly the visual distraction their metal counterparts are.

Braces Aren’t Just for Appearances

Although there’s no denying that a smile featuring even, straight teeth can significantly improve anyone’s appearance, braces for adults also help with alignment and crowding issues that may interfere with the ability to chew food and to speak clearly. Straight teeth also reduce the amount of plaque buildup that can occur in cracks and crevices caused by crooked teeth, ultimately decreasing your chances of developing damaging tooth decay.

Braces for Adults Can Be Removed While Eating

Certain types of adult braces, known more commonly as aligners, can be removed during mealtimes and snacks as well as when you brush and floss your teeth. You can also choose to take them off for special occasions such as important formal business meetings, job interviews, or celebratory functions with family and friends.

Many adults find that clear braces provide them with the appearance they want as well as increase their ability to enjoy an overall good quality of life. Please feel free to contact us if you’d like more information on adult braces or to schedule an appointment to explore whether adult braces are a good option for you.

Pros and Cons of Permanent and Removable Retainers

Permanent and Removable Retainers

A retainer is a crucial component of orthodontic treatment. Because teeth aren’t fixed into place, they can shift over time. A retainer is designed to keep teeth in place after braces are removed. Learning about the differences between the two primary types of retainers — permanent and removable — can increase your understanding of the recommendations your orthodontist makes.

Permanent Retainers

Pros: A permanent retainer is comprised of wire that is attached to the rear of your teeth. Because they are permanently bonded into place with long-lasting glue, this type of retainer is both effective and durable. Wires are attached behind the teeth to hold the permanent retainer in place. This makes it difficult for others to see the wires.

Cons: You might find it more difficult and time-consuming to floss your teeth. Depending on your orthodontist, special tools might be recommended to make caring for your permanent retainer easier and more effective. Some people might not like how the wires feel in their mouths.

Removable Retainers

Pros: Made of clear plastic, one type of removable retainer is designed to fit over your teeth like a mouth guard. A different type uses wires to secure the dental device to your mouth. This design makes it less noticeable compared to a permanent retainer. Another key advantage of choosing this type of retainer is that it can be removed. In fact, you’ll need to take it out in order to eat, brush your teeth or play sports.

Cons: Because they are made of plastic and removed quite often, this type of retainer can be less durable. This can also make it more likely that the retainer will get lost or broken. You might need to replace it more frequently if you lose it or it gets broken.

McGuire Orthodontics is focused on one thing: to provide their patients with beautiful and healthy smiles.


One of the orthodontic products we most frequently get questions about is Invisalign. If you are not familiar with or have only seen an occasional advertisement about this fantastic product, here are some basics you should understand.

Invisalign is a brand of clear, teeth aligners that are intended for adults. Because they are clear, they are less obtrusive than the metal braces many are familiar with as children. Another plus is that they are available in affordable monthly payments that span over the treatment period.

Determining if Invisalign is an appropriate orthodontic treatment program for you starts with a visit to our offices. If it is determined you are a candidate, complete treatment instructions are sent to Invisalign, where advanced computer technology translates these instructions into a sequence of clear aligners, as few as 12 and possibly as many as 48. Each new aligner gradually directs teeth into the desired position, until ultimately, a beautiful smile is achieved!

Keep in mind, Invisalign is not intended for children but adults. These adults may or may not have worn braces in the past, but whose teeth have moved slightly out of alignment. It is not an appropriate treatment for every adult. Invisalign products are worn throughout the day except for eating or brushing.

There are a few surprising facts about Invisalign that many do not know. While it is viewed as innovative, modern technology, it has been studied for over two decades and has been awarded over 900 patents. Invisalign utilizes the world’s most massive 3D printing operation. Invisalign also uses data from over 5.5 million smiles in creating the perfect smile for you.

If you would like to see if you qualify as a candidate for Invisalign, connect with the professionals at Arnstine & McGuire Orthodontics. We have offices in both Shaker Heights and Solon, Ohio. Let’s make the most of your smile!