An Amazing Alternative to Traditional Braces!

Sometimes there are things you find out about in your career that defy or are against everything you supposedly learned during your many years of professional education.

If you aren’t paying attention you might miss out on an idea that can change your calling and alter the path of what you thought you were supposed to be doing! For me it was stumbling across an orthodontic appliance called the Ortho-Tain. This device has changed, in a most positive way, the way I see orthodontics and the way I practice dentistry.

For some reason training in orthodontics during dental school is very minimal. I was fortunate, however, to have spent over 8 years in Nome getting to do orthodontics under the tutelage of Dr. Michael Beck, an orthodontist from New Mexico. Dr. Beck has traveled rural Alaska for over the last twenty years helping clinics in Bethel, Kodiak, and Nome. I learned about the Ortho-Tain from Dr. Beck, but we never had much success with it due to compliance issues so I basically swept its power and potential “under the rug.”

Fast forward 7 years to my moving and starting my own small practice in Anchorage. At this point I now I have a 7 year old who, one day, appears with a smile in cross bite, i.e. his new upper front teeth are growing behind his back teeth.   As a mother and a dentist, I think, “This cannot be!!!!” (Even though I personally spent 3 miserable years myself in braces: 7th, 8th and 9th grades—ugh!). Here is my son when he was seven:


I immediately think back to this Ortho-Tain appliance, contact the company and start my son in treatment.

SO let me introduce to you to the Ortho-Tain appliance. There are actually multiple appliances that the company Ortho-Tain makes, but they are all very similar. They are all a mouth-guard type appliance that basically guide teeth into their correct position through a few hours of daily wear and through night-time sleep. In many cases, if the child is young enough, it can guide the teeth in straight before teeth are ever crooked. What I used on my son is the Occlus-o-guide appliance.

His cross bite was actually corrected in a few short weeks of only sleeping in the appliance and now that he is 11 years old he regularly just sleeps in it to guide the rest of his teeth in straight.

This picture was taken when he was 9, but correction was much earlier, I just never recorded it!  Note that he never wore any wires, but only slept in the Occlus-o-Guide and would wear it during night-time reading.


I want to make it clear that because this appliance exists, does not mean that traditional wired braces is a thing of the past. I still enjoy and practice band and bracket orthodontics as a general dentist.  And I still refer many people to orthodontic specialists if need be.

However, I am absolutely obsessed and impressed with the appliance! If you have any questions, please call me and would be happy to discuss its benefits.

What Is This Whole Ortho-tain Thing You Keep Talking About?

shutterstock_210060295Wondering what this whole Ortho-tain thing is I keep mentioning? Well here is everything thing you need to know!

My Experience:
For the past three years of my 13 years of experience as a dentist, I am truly stunned by the results of the Ortho-tain appliance and am so excited to share it with the public. The Ortho-tain appliance can effectively prevent the need for orthodontics and straighten young smiles as early as possible. The best part about this appliance though is that it actually works!

So what exactly is this amazing product?
Ortho-tain is a mouthguard appliance that can straighten your teeth without brackets and wires. It is generally worn for just a few hours a day. It also gradually guides your child’s teeth in the correct position before severe crowding, unlike braces which mainly correct crowding.

Why have I never heard of it then?
The appliance has actually been around since the 1970’s but does not garner as much of a profit as braces do. I have actually had the pleasure of meeting with the Otho-tain creator, Dr. Earl Bergerson, a humble and caring orthodontist. He is very passionate about this product and is excited for it to increase the growth and development of oral health.

Will Ortho-tain work on young children?
I have placed the Ortho-tain appliance on children as young as 5 and 6 years old. It is actually ideal to start children on this appliance young because it guides the teeth into the correct placing, corrects cross-bites, overbites, and deep-bites, avoiding the need for costly braces.

Can I afford Ortho-tain?
Oh yes! This appliance is actually 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of traditional orthodontics.

Will my child need a retainer after treatment like they will after braces?
Nope! Your teeth are connected to your jawbones with a periodontal ligament. With normal braces, we wait for the adult teeth to come in crooked and twisted (after the ligaments are set), and then they must be untwisted. The ligaments are like rubber bands and they want to move back to where they were. This is a relapse and this is the reason people get braces over and over again. With Ortho-tain, the appliance actually guides teeth straight as the erupt in the first place, and the ligaments form and end up exactly where they need to be. It’s the most remarkable thing about the appliance!

Interested now that you know a little more about this amazing product, or maybe you’re still a little skeptical even? That’s alright, give me a call at (907) 276-5522 and I would love to tell you more about it and answer all your questions.