FAQ

“What is the Breathe to Thrive philosophy for my treatment?”
We believe that movement, nutrition, sleep, laughter, and loving relationships are all essential to becoming the best versions of ourselves. The Breathe to Thrive approach to a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle looks different for each of our patients.

Our team is here to help you reach your health goals through connecting the dots of your personal and family story. While we certainly specialize in the mouth and airway, we look for the bigger picture of your whole body health and communicate with our team of professionals in your wellness journey.

Learn more about Dr. Tim’s philosophy on our Meet the Team page.

“Why is myofunctional therapy necessary, especially if I am going to have a tongue tie release or orthodontic expansion?”

Myofunctional therapy is an essential part of treatment prior to surgery to stretch the tissue and allow greater access for the provider. It also allows the tongue to start developing strength and muscle memory in the tongue so that after surgery proper rest posture and swallow can be established. Training the tongue to rest on the roof of the mouth helps guide growth of the face and acts as the best retainer after orthodontics. Our goal with Myofunctional therapy is to establish a good lip seal with the tongue on the roof of the mouth and proper nasal breathing.

We consider tongue tie surgery to be a complimentary service to myofunctional therapy, and not the other way around. Only together do the services create a successful treatment outcome; the evidence-based research proves that surgery requires therapy.

“I suffer from TMJ symptoms. Is this related to my airway?”

Often, TMJ and sleep apnea have the same underlying root cause: a poorly developed upper and lower jaw. When the skeletal structures that house our teeth and airway are deficient in size, the lower jaw becomes trapped and the teeth don’t line up correctly, which lead to TMJ symptoms. The deficient jaw size also could mean a narrow airway that leads to Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome or Obstructive Sleep Apnea. People that suffer from an airway disorder often clench and grind their teeth or posture their head forward to help them breathe. These issues can lead to headaches, neck aches, shoulder and back pain.

At the Breathe To Thrive Center, all patients who present with TMJ symptoms are screened for airway issues as well. We find that by addressing both issues with treatment, we have better long term success with therapy.

“What should I expect during my first myofunctional therapy appointment with Kelly?”

The first appointment is a comprehensive initial exam including health and developmental history, photos, measurements, functional testing, breathing evaluation, oral exam, tongue tie screening, and postural analysis. The first set of personalized therapeutic exercises is started..

Follow-up therapy appointments include revaluation of function, review of objectives, and progression of exercise strategies. Once you are an established patient, many of the follow up appointments can be made virtually.

“How long will treatment take for children or for adults?”

Every person is unique and treatment plans are tailored to individual needs based upon conditions. Depending on the modality of treatment, it could be weeks to months of treatment.

Orofacial myofunctional therapy programs are based on need, but generally range from 4-12 sessions. Appointments are initially weekly and progress to monthly/quarterly.

If you are a tongue tie release candidate, motivated patients that follow their home care exercise recommendations can be ready within 4 to 8 weeks. Before surgery, Kelly and Dr. Tim must confirm the patient is ready! Some infant tongue ties may be released the same day after a diagnosis is made.

“What is a DNA appliance and what does it do? Is a dental appliance always my best option?”

A DNA appliance stimulates your stems cells to promote skeletal growth of the palate and jaws to create a healthier airway. It looks and feels like a mouthguard or retainer.

We develop treatment plans for our patients to fit their lifestyles and their health goals, and we believe being trained in numerous treatment modalities is the best way to achieve this for our patients. The best way to know what treatment is best for you is to set up a time for an assessment! Call us at [link to phone] or schedule a consultation here [local med widgit link on contact us page].

“I’ve been told my child will “grow out of” their symptoms. Do I still need to consider treatment?”

We want our pediatric patients to have the best chance of avoiding long-term health complications that can develop from their current symptoms. Healthy children are likely to develop into healthy adults! If your child has issues with mouth breathing, snoring, wetting the bed, sleeping with their mouth open, crowded teeth, forward head posture, or issues with behavior or attention span, it is certainly not “normal.” The longer the symptoms persist, the harder it becomes for the body to self correct. Research has shown these symptoms can persist into adulthood if not addressed early. If you are concerned or see other symptoms related to their growth and development, then we encourage patients to reach out to us for a consultation.

“I think I may have a tongue tie. Will I need surgery/clipped/snipped/cut/released?”
It all depends on how the tongue tie is affecting your function and health. Some patients benefit from a surgical release, and others do not need it. For those that do need to be released, myofunctional therapy is required before and after the surgery to ensure the best results.
“I’ve been told my infant does not have a tongue tie, but I can see a tongue tie! Can I come to you for a release right away if I think my baby has a tongue/lip/buccal tie?”

We are here to listen to all your concerns and do what is best for your family! It’s important to remember that all humans have a visible muscle attachment that could be considered a “tongue tie.” Dr. Tim and his team are specifically trained to recognize if the muscle attachment is limiting the functionality of the tongue, lips, or cheeks.

If this is the case, we very often are able to complete a procedure to safely release these attachments for infants the same day as a consultation. In some cases, the services of additional health care providers may be encouraged before an infant tongue tie release is completed. While tongue tie releases have a very low risk of complications, ultimately we want to intervene with as few surgeries as possible while still getting the best results for you and your child!

“Do you have monthly payment plans? Does my insurance cover this treatment?”

Services generally are not covered by insurance, and our providers are fee for service. We understand budget concerns, and offer flexible payment options to fit every patient’s needs. We do file many insurances as a concierge service to our patients to help use your benefits, when possible!

Treatment is designed as a long-term solution and is an investment in addressing the root cause of many health problems. This method helps reduce the risk and effects of comorbidities (ie sleep apnea) which can help prevent additional medical expenses over time. We’re here to be a long-term partner in your health.

“What should I expect during my first appointment with Dr. Tim for an airway assessment?”

After an initial 15 minute complimentary consultation with Dr. Tim, the first in-office appointment generally lasts 1 hour, and is critical for building your health matrix and connecting the dots in your wellness journey. An extensive data collection appointment allows for a personalized treatment plan, and may include a home sleep test, models of your teeth and how they fit together, a 3D scan of your head, neck, and jaws, intraoral and body posture photos, body measurements, a comprehensive health history, and a full head and neck exam. Following this appointment, Dr. Tim will present the best treatment plan for achieving YOUR health goals and set you up for long-term success.

For patients looking for a holistic dentist, we are also here for your routine dental care! If your main goal is biological dental treatment (including mercury-safe dental work), your first appointment will still include a thorough understanding of your history to best outline your overall goals for your health and smile. We encourage our biological dental patients to take a deeper look into their overall airway health, and the same assessment above is encouraged!

“I live out of state or have a busy work schedule. How will treatment work for me?”

An initial phone call with the Breathe to Thrive team is the perfect place to start! We can find out many of your health goals before you enter the office to ensure we are a great fit for your care. We do our absolute best to accommodate busy schedules, and to make in-office appointments as dynamic as possible for our patients, especially those that travel long distances to see us!

Our network of providers is also always growing, and if we can recommend any type of care closer to your area, we are happy to do so!

“How does an appliance or orthodontic treatment help my child to breathe better?”

The appliances are designed to help guide growth of the palate and jaws to ensure a healthy airway and nasal breathing. The upper and lower jaw bones are the skeletal structures of the airway. If we can develop a large skeletal structure then there will be plenty of room for a large airway. They also help to lessen habits that may be having a harmful effect especially when combined with myofunctional therapy.

What is the difference between a removable and a fixed palate expander?

Most children in our modern society require expansion of the upper jaw (the maxilla) for proper development of the face, jaws, to allow the airway to develop and to allow room for all the teeth to erupt in their proper position. Removable expanders are great when starting at an early age in life. Ideally, a child would be screened and start treatment before the age of 5. The earlier we start, the better chance we can guide the growth and lessen the chance of removing permanent teeth or prevent a prolonged time in braces.

Our upper and lower jaws are about 95% done growing around age 13. The closer a child gets to that age, the less likely a removable expander will work. It also comes down to how much expansion is needed. If just a couple millimeters of expansion are required, a removable expander may work well. If 3+ millimeters are required, a fixed expander usually is the best option. Removable expanders are also great before fixed expanders to act as a habit correcting guide along with Myofunctional therapy. The removable expanders can also serve as a retainer after fixed expanders.

“What is the Breathe to Thrive philosophy for my treatment?”

We believe that movement, nutrition, sleep, laughter, and loving relationships are all essential to becoming the best versions of ourselves. The Breathe to Thrive approach to a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle looks different for each of our patients.

Our team is here to help you reach your health goals through connecting the dots of your personal and family story. While we certainly specialize in the mouth and airway, we look for the bigger picture of your whole body health and communicate with our team of professionals in your wellness journey.

Learn more about Dr. Tim’s philosophy on our Meet the Team page.

“Why is myofunctional therapy necessary, especially if I am going to have a tongue tie release or orthodontic expansion?”

Myofunctional therapy is an essential part of treatment prior to surgery to stretch the tissue and allow greater access for the provider. It also allows the tongue to start developing strength and muscle memory in the tongue so that after surgery proper rest posture and swallow can be established. Training the tongue to rest on the roof of the mouth helps guide growth of the face and acts as the best retainer after orthodontics. Our goal with Myofunctional therapy is to establish a good lip seal with the tongue on the roof of the mouth and proper nasal breathing.

We consider tongue tie surgery to be a complimentary service to myofunctional therapy, and not the other way around. Only together do the services create a successful treatment outcome; the evidence-based research proves that surgery requires therapy.

“I suffer from TMJ symptoms. Is this related to my airway?”

Often, TMJ and sleep apnea have the same underlying root cause: a poorly developed upper and lower jaw. When the skeletal structures that house our teeth and airway are deficient in size, the lower jaw becomes trapped and the teeth don’t line up correctly, which lead to TMJ symptoms. The deficient jaw size also could mean a narrow airway that leads to Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome or Obstructive Sleep Apnea. People that suffer from an airway disorder often clench and grind their teeth or posture their head forward to help them breathe. These issues can lead to headaches, neck aches, shoulder and back pain.

At the Breathe To Thrive Center, all patients who present with TMJ symptoms are screened for airway issues as well. We find that by addressing both issues with treatment, we have better long term success with therapy.

“What should I expect during my first myofunctional therapy appointment with Kelly?”

The first appointment is a comprehensive initial exam including health and developmental history, photos, measurements, functional testing, breathing evaluation, oral exam, tongue tie screening, and postural analysis. The first set of personalized therapeutic exercises is started..

Follow-up therapy appointments include revaluation of function, review of objectives, and progression of exercise strategies. Once you are an established patient, many of the follow up appointments can be made virtually.

“How long will treatment take for children or for adults?”

Every person is unique and treatment plans are tailored to individual needs based upon conditions. Depending on the modality of treatment, it could be weeks to months of treatment.

Orofacial myofunctional therapy programs are based on need, but generally range from 4-12 sessions. Appointments are initially weekly and progress to monthly/quarterly.

If you are a tongue tie release candidate, motivated patients that follow their home care exercise recommendations can be ready within 4 to 8 weeks. Before surgery, Kelly and Dr. Tim must confirm the patient is ready! Some infant tongue ties may be released the same day after a diagnosis is made.

“What is a DNA appliance and what does it do? Is a dental appliance always my best option?”

A DNA appliance stimulates your stems cells to promote skeletal growth of the palate and jaws to create a healthier airway. It looks and feels like a mouthguard or retainer.

We develop treatment plans for our patients to fit their lifestyles and their health goals, and we believe being trained in numerous treatment modalities is the best way to achieve this for our patients. The best way to know what treatment is best for you is to set up a time for an assessment! Call us at [link to phone] or schedule a consultation here [local med widgit link on contact us page].

“I’ve been told my child will “grow out of” their symptoms. Do I still need to consider treatment?”

We want our pediatric patients to have the best chance of avoiding long-term health complications that can develop from their current symptoms. Healthy children are likely to develop into healthy adults! If your child has issues with mouth breathing, snoring, wetting the bed, sleeping with their mouth open, crowded teeth, forward head posture, or issues with behavior or attention span, it is certainly not “normal.” The longer the symptoms persist, the harder it becomes for the body to self correct. Research has shown these symptoms can persist into adulthood if not addressed early. If you are concerned or see other symptoms related to their growth and development, then we encourage patients to reach out to us for a consultation.

“I think I may have a tongue tie. Will I need surgery/clipped/snipped/cut/released?”
It all depends on how the tongue tie is affecting your function and health. Some patients benefit from a surgical release, and others do not need it. For those that do need to be released, myofunctional therapy is required before and after the surgery to ensure the best results.
“I’ve been told my infant does not have a tongue tie, but I can see a tongue tie! Can I come to you for a release right away if I think my baby has a tongue/lip/buccal tie?”

We are here to listen to all your concerns and do what is best for your family! It’s important to remember that all humans have a visible muscle attachment that could be considered a “tongue tie.” Dr. Tim and his team are specifically trained to recognize if the muscle attachment is limiting the functionality of the tongue, lips, or cheeks.

If this is the case, we very often are able to complete a procedure to safely release these attachments for infants the same day as a consultation. In some cases, the services of additional health care providers may be encouraged before an infant tongue tie release is completed. While tongue tie releases have a very low risk of complications, ultimately we want to intervene with as few surgeries as possible while still getting the best results for you and your child!

“Do you have monthly payment plans? Does my insurance cover this treatment?”

Services generally are not covered by insurance, and our providers are fee for service. We understand budget concerns, and offer flexible payment options to fit every patient’s needs. We do file many insurances as a concierge service to our patients to help use your benefits, when possible!

Treatment is designed as a long-term solution and is an investment in addressing the root cause of many health problems. This method helps reduce the risk and effects of comorbidities (ie sleep apnea) which can help prevent additional medical expenses over time. We’re here to be a long-term partner in your health.

“What should I expect during my first appointment with Dr. Tim for an airway assessment?”

After an initial 15 minute complimentary consultation with Dr. Tim, the first in-office appointment generally lasts 1 hour, and is critical for building your health matrix and connecting the dots in your wellness journey. An extensive data collection appointment allows for a personalized treatment plan, and may include a home sleep test, models of your teeth and how they fit together, a 3D scan of your head, neck, and jaws, intraoral and body posture photos, body measurements, a comprehensive health history, and a full head and neck exam. Following this appointment, Dr. Tim will present the best treatment plan for achieving YOUR health goals and set you up for long-term success.

For patients looking for a holistic dentist, we are also here for your routine dental care! If your main goal is biological dental treatment (including mercury-safe dental work), your first appointment will still include a thorough understanding of your history to best outline your overall goals for your health and smile. We encourage our biological dental patients to take a deeper look into their overall airway health, and the same assessment above is encouraged!

“I live out of state or have a busy work schedule. How will treatment work for me?”

An initial phone call with the Breathe to Thrive team is the perfect place to start! We can find out many of your health goals before you enter the office to ensure we are a great fit for your care. We do our absolute best to accommodate busy schedules, and to make in-office appointments as dynamic as possible for our patients, especially those that travel long distances to see us!

Our network of providers is also always growing, and if we can recommend any type of care closer to your area, we are happy to do so!

“How does an appliance or orthodontic treatment help my child to breathe better?”

The appliances are designed to help guide growth of the palate and jaws to ensure a healthy airway and nasal breathing. The upper and lower jaw bones are the skeletal structures of the airway. If we can develop a large skeletal structure then there will be plenty of room for a large airway. They also help to lessen habits that may be having a harmful effect especially when combined with myofunctional therapy.

“What is the difference between a removable and a fixed palate expander?”

Most children in our modern society require expansion of the upper jaw (the maxilla) for proper development of the face, jaws, to allow the airway to develop and to allow room for all the teeth to erupt in their proper position. Removable expanders are great when starting at an early age in life. Ideally, a child would be screened and start treatment before the age of 5. The earlier we start, the better chance we can guide the growth and lessen the chance of removing permanent teeth or prevent a prolonged time in braces.

Our upper and lower jaws are about 95% done growing around age 13. The closer a child gets to that age, the less likely a removable expander will work. It also comes down to how much expansion is needed. If just a couple millimeters of expansion are required, a removable expander may work well. If 3+ millimeters are required, a fixed expander usually is the best option. Removable expanders are also great before fixed expanders to act as a habit correcting guide along with Myofunctional therapy. The removable expanders can also serve as a retainer after fixed expanders.

Breathe to Thrive Holistic Dental Center

11201 Nall Avenue

Suite 120

Leawood, KS 66211

Monday: 8:00am – 5:00pm

Tuesday: 8:00am – 4:00pm

Wednesday: 8:00am – 4:00pm

Thursday: 7:00am – 3:00pm

Copyright © 2020 Breathe to Thrive Institute