ALF Appliance Therapy

ALF Appliance Therapy

ALF or Advanced Lightwire Functionals is an orthodontic treatment method that doesn’t involve the use of dental braces or other aligners. ALF is a non-conventional method that utilizes the principles of cranial osteopathy to advance the mandible and promote muscle functionality. Often considered as a comprehensive treatment approach, it uses a whole-body-and-mind advancement to achieve the desired results.

How Does the ALF Work?

The basic principle of ALF is applying light pressure on the bones, muscles, and teeth to make changes to their alignment as required. It impacts the cranial sutures to promote appropriate growth of the underlying jawbone and also stabilizes the surrounding muscles.

Patients who are worried about their orthodontic appliances ruining their smile by being too visible can benefit from ALF. It is cosmetically invisible as the appliance gently wraps around the teeth from behind, making it completely hidden when you talk or smile. 

Is ALF Suitable for Everyone?

Since ALF mainly targets the growth of the bone and muscles connected to the teeth, it could produce awe-inspiring results in children (as their bone and muscle growth is more pronounced). If you observe potential risks in your child’s bite, such as lack of optimum growth, mouth breathing, untimely falling off of teeth, snoring, difficulty in biting or chewing food, do reach out to us, and we can discuss how your child can benefit from ALF.

Adults can also benefit from ALF, as it comprehensively affects the overall health of an individual. It is often utilized in the treatment of imperfect facial symmetry, palatal contraction, congestion of the airways, severe misalignment of the teeth, TMJ disorder, poor posture, and issues with the jawbone alignment.

Why Choose ALF When We Have Dental Braces?

Building a well-designed and stable house would require a solid foundation. The same applies to the teeth and their alignment. Before patients address the misalignment of teeth, they have to look into the condition and stability of the body as well. ALF corrects the overall issues with the body that affect the alignment of the teeth, such as the posture, jawbone shape, cranial growth, obstructions for the ideal alignment of the teeth in the jawbone, etc.

ALF (Advanced Lightwire Functional) is therapy that aims to improve the overall health, beauty and function for the patient while providing a gentle, simple, effective, and easy to wear family of dental appliances.
Researched and developed by Dr. Darick Nordstrom, the ALF appliance delivers light forces to the teeth and gums with an exceptionally advanced design. The ALF design is based on replicating the forces to the jaws and head that nature intended. This has been verified through years of feedback from osteopathic and chiropractic physicians who specialize in treating the highly sensitive system involving the subtle forces and influences involving the cranium and the neurological system that it surrounds. ALF is a whole-body-and-mind approach aimed to improve overall health and performance in every realm.
The evolution of the family of ALF appliances has been continually refined throughout the years to their current elegant and effective designs. Cosmetically, the appliance is relatively “invisible” as it gently wraps around the back of the teeth and is not visible from the outside.
As no two patients are the same - no two appliances are the same. ALF Therapy providers are trained to select and modify the ALF dental appliances to the individual needs of their patients to take advantage of their strengths and help them overcome their weaknesses.

Because ALF promotes proper growth and development, once a child can cooperate with therapy, treatment can begin. Research has helped to identify many red flags in young children that pertain to a lack of proper growth and development. These early warning signs allow us to intervene as early as possible to help correct any discrepancies and get the child back on track to their ideal development. The earlier you intercept a problem with growth and development, the simpler and more comfortable the treatment can be.
Warning signs may include: difficulty nursing, chronic congestion, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, recurrent ear infections, mouth breathing, asthma, forward head posture, crossbites, underbites, deep bites, crowded baby teeth and speech issues.
Older patients can sometimes also benefit from ALF treatment! Because the appliance can affect overall health, patients at nearly every age can enjoy noticeable and effective results. The ALF has been shown to reduce effects of poor facial development, correcting facial asymmetries, and producing palatal expansion and opening airways. ALF is for anyone who wants to improve tooth alignment for function, patients with swallowing dysfunction, sleep apnea or sleep disorders, speech impediments, airway constriction/breathing problems, cranial bone realignment, TMJ disorders, poor posture and spinal alignment, or improper positioning of dental arches resulting in crossbite.

Before you build a house, you need to make sure that you have a stable, solid foundation. Before you address straightening teeth and improving the smile your body needs to be well aligned. ALF focuses on improving this foundation by addressing the causes of crooked teeth. There are genetic, early developmental, and functional determinants of mandibular size which then have significant downstream effects such as maxillary development, airway development and cranial growth.
Teeth are an indication of what the muscles of the face have or have not been doing correctly. Crooked teeth, high palates, tongue thrusting, poor posture, retained primary reflexes, and open mouth breathing are all symptoms of compensation from an inadequate foundation. Causes of these compensations vary but may be related to Low tongue posture and non-functional swallowing, Restricted airway and mouth breathing, Cranial strains, stresses and tensions in the head and neck area possibly stemming from traumatic births or accidents, Genetic factors, or Poor diet (highly processed foods that lack nutrients and enzymes).

ALF works alongside two pillars of care creating a “Trifecta” to give the body the ability to grow into its best possible version.

  • Myofunctional Therapy is physical therapy to train the tongue, lips, and mouth to move efficiently and correctly. Sometimes this also includes breathing therapy such as Buteyko.
  • Bodywork/Cranial Osteopathy is the calming therapy for the entire body to be in harmony with itself to grow in a symmetrical manner.

Built on those pillars, patients ‘functionally’ develop their mandible to the optimal ‘neutral zone’. This novel approach to the cranial system works to integrate cranial mobility with the palate, teeth, and jaw alignment, thereby promoting better swallowing, breathing, speech, sleep and nervous system response. The gentle action of the ALF orthodontic appliance provides a safe sensory stimulus within the mouth that allows for a greater range of neurological regulation to occur, especially through the cranial nerves and the autonomic nervous system. Thus, patients wearing the ALF appliance experienced far-reaching changes in bite, body, brain, and behavior. The founder of ALF, Dr. Nordstrom has noted, “With the insertion of the ALF appliance we have seen seemingly unrelated health issues improve or completely resolve.”
We believe, the Advanced Lightwire Functional Appliance is the ultimate craniofacial development therapy in terms of wellness enhancement as the ALF promotes proper facial development, tooth alignment, airway enlargement, improved posture and corrected sensory impulses within the nervous system.

The commitment to ALF therapy indicates a willingness to participate fully with both time and finances. There is not a “typical treatment” for a child who needs interceptive care for growth or airway developmental support. There will be periods of “active” support with required office visits at 4-6 week intervals and periods of what we refer to as “maintenance” with less frequent visits.
Due to the delicate nature of the ALF appliance and variability of patient compliance and individual response to therapy, there is no guarantee for therapy outcomes. We commit to doing our very best to identify and prevent potential problems, but they do occur.
The total costs of therapy are based on the needs of the patient and varies widely between patients.

Even though properly performed ALF Therapy can create beautiful smiles and faces by utilizing the oral environment (including the teeth), it must be understood that this technique is very different from orthodontic approaches.
Patients seeking a treatment approach that is limited to the movement of teeth often seek advice from a dentist who has taken very specialized training in tooth alignment referred to as an orthodontist. Orthodontists undertake a 2 year post-doctoral program that instructs on an approach limited to tooth alignment using braces, clear aligners, surgical interventions and rigid, fixed palatal expanders. Their focus is achieving straight teeth.
Their instruction does not include instruction on the use of the ALF family of appliances as this instruction is only available through private instruction in the multifactorial aspect of care offered through ALF Therapy.
Patients seeking a treatment approach to prevent or treat functional issues such as:

  • Sleep and airway concerns
  • Headaches and craniofacial pain
  • Speech and swallowing concerns
  • Relapse or unwanted tooth movement because of unresolved oral neuro-myofunctional deficits ...may want to consider ALF Therapy as another option to the more tooth-focused therapy provided by other forms of orthodontics.

  • { ALF is NOT about straight teeth – ALF IS about function }

Dr. Jordan has been passionate about caring for families affected by tongue and lip ties during the breastfeeding years since her own child was diagnosed with a tongue-tie in 2014. Taking every chance to learn as much as possible about the effects of tongue-ties led her to the science of Myofunctional Therapy. This is where she first learned of all the ways tongue-tie and other early indicators can affect development and growth way beyond the breastfeeding years. Problems include sleep disordered breathing and airway issues. The ALF appliance addresses many of these problems in young children. Having had her own child develop OSA, enlarged tonsils/adenoids, mouth breathing and airway issues, she knew she could help by implementing the use of the ALF appliance in her practice.
Dr. Jordan is committed to continuously improving herself and the care she offers her patients by attending numerous continuing education seminars and ongoing collaboration with other ALF providers throughout the U.S. She makes every attempt to stay abreast of all of the newest techniques in general dentistry, airway health, orthotropic, TMJ, laser therapies and ALF in an effort to provide the best possible care to her patients.

Dr. Darick Nordstrom, developer of the ALF

Dr. James Bronson

Cranial Osteopathy

ALF Therapy

Primitive Reflexes

Cold Laser Therapy

Dr. Tasha Turzo

Please get in touch with us by calling us at (740) 369-4550, and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Rebecca Jordan Family Dentistry

665 W Central Ave, Delaware, Delaware, OH 43015

Phone: (740) 369-4550


MON - TUE : 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

WED : 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

THU : 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

FRI - SUN : Closed

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