I eventually figured out how to side sleep with the facemask without drooling (which would wake me up) by twisting the rubber bands a couple of times so they flatten, and using denture adhesive and medical tape to seal my lips shut. Problem solved. Watching television in bed was also an issue because I wear glasses. I ended up taking one of the arms off an old pair so I could slip them on and off without messing with the facemask.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
I’d started this a month after getting my appliance last year. My dentist referred me to a Myotherapist because he saw how dysfunctional my oral situation was. It’s a year-long program of what is basically dental exercise. Things like resting tongue position, nasal breathing, correct chewing and swallowing, strengthening the muscles of your tongue, lips, cheeks and throat. The program was time consuming, and moderately expensive, but it was worth everything I put into it. I feel like a different person.
I received my lower appliance (15 months after starting the upper) and my dentist told me to stop expanding the upper, because it’s basically where we want it. He said I could possibly expand it more later, but he wants to see how the lower goes for a while. I’m adjusting the lower every 7 days, and continue to wear the upper because I’m still using the facemask, and it functions as a retainer.
Things are moving along.
Progress so far
I’m 10 months into the Vivos DNA Appliance (started April 2018) and just got my second upper, as well as a face mask attached with rubber bands to pull my maxilla forward (Protraction reverse-pull headgear.) I’ll be sleeping with it for the duration of treatment. I’m happy with the progress so far and look forward to more expansion.
Photos: (L) My teeth now. (M) Face mask. (R) I dialed my first upper (pink) back to the beginning to see how much smaller my mouth was compared to now (clear.)
Consultation & Starting (February & April 2018)
I originally went to this new dentist for Invisalign, but he said Invisalign wasn’t for me, and explained that my palate was too small and I was in crossbite. The only solution (Because I’m an adult) used to be surgery, but now there was an appliance that would give me the expansion I needed (Although very slowly compared to the expansion rate kids can get because their bones are still soft and growing.) He recommended the DNA Appliance and said my case would take 2 years because I needed a lot of expansion. Right away I had to get an exam, a CBCT scan, and do a take-home sleep study to determine if I needed a DNA or mRNA Appliance(For sleep apnea.) The exam and CBCT were quick and easy, but the sleep study headgear was seriously uncomfortable. Instead of sleeping, I laid awake all night. The results said I didn’t have sleep apnea, which I already knew. Of course, by not sleeping, the study was bogus anyway.
I received the appliance in April. He told me to wear it 16 hours per day. I asked if I could wear it 24/7 for faster results but he said no. The 8-hour break is mandatory, as it works on a circadian rhythm. The body doesn’t remodel bone during the daytime active hours. So I put it in around 3-4pm and take it out 7-8am. The only thing I have to do is clean it regularly (White vinegar) and adjust it once a week. It’s basically a waiting game.