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Bigal

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  1. Hi TT My son wore mouthpieces for 3-4 years. I think the timing though is more important than the length. He was about 14 when we realized that he no longer needed the mouthpieces. According to the local orthodontist, his jaw grew into the position that the mouthpieces were guiding it towards. Dr Sims confirmed that that happens sometimes. FWIW, my son (now 15.5 is still growing) and I hope his jaw doesn't shift. But the local orthodontist says his face is not likely to grow anymore. How old is your son? Have the mouthpieces helped much? Are you using one of the well known doctors? I should add though, that not long before we realized that my son didn't need the mouthpieces he had also been doing Neurofeedback. At the time, we thought it was perhaps making matters worse. For one thing, my son could not stop cracking his knuckles. We eventually gave up thinking that it didn't help. And my son recently said that it didn't. But looking back, I wonder. In regard to the Neurofeedback I should add that center that we used had many different treatments under the neurofeedback umbrella. I'm not even sure that they were all in fact neurofeedback. The treatment administered by Dr Davis at The BAND Center in Hadley, MA.
  2. Hi Zvendal I don't think that having a TMJ issue is a prerequisite for mouthpieces being an effect treatment. That said, my son did have a mild TMJ issue and we were completely unaware of it. When he saw a TMJ doctor the doctor put his hands on my son's jaw and when my son opened and closed his jaw there was an audible click. I'm not sure that qualifies as a TMJ issue. But if so, we were unaware of it. Maybe your child does have a TMJ issue and you don't know. But I don't know that it matters. Bigal
  3. Hi Lulu No, my son did not have an MRI. Dr. Sims did not think it was necessary. I don't think he prescribes it at all. I'm also not sure that you need to have a TMJ issue for this treatment to be effective. Best of luck with the doctor in Seattle. Again, from what I understand this treatment has helped my people. And I can say for certain that is helped my son. Feel free to get ask any more questions.
  4. Hi Lulu Yes, my son is still asymptomatic. It's been about six months since he's worn a mouthpiece. Honestly, I didn't expect he would be able to get rid of the mouthpiece. At least this young. Dr. Gary Dimerjian is the doctor in CA who does this. Also, for expenses, I think the MD doctor may be more affordable than the VA doctor. For one thing, he doesn't require an MRI.
  5. Hi NRR I'd recommend finding a local ortho that you can use for a "reality check" on what you are doing. Our family dentist recommended a local ortho that he new was intelligent, inquisitive and interested in learning something new. This ortho spent time reading about this treatment and spent time on the phone with the VA doctor and the MD Doctor. As mentioned, the MD Doctor made my son an upper mouthpiece that helped him so much. But that upper was expandable and we were told to expand it half a turn every week. We did this for a couple of months. The expnansion with each turn was imperceptible. But the local ortho had us stop because it was making spaces between his teeth. If not for the local ortho we would have gone on too long. I also had concerns about how his mouth would end up. I was told that eventually his molars would not meet and he'd need braces to correct that. And how can you eat if your molars don't meet? Well the last time we saw the MD Doctor he was pleased to announce that my sons molars didn't meet. He thought that was a good thing. I wasn't pleased to hear that. If he now had to wear braces, then he couldn't wear the mouthpieces. But we haven't gotten him braces and he eats just fine. Our local ortho says he doesn't need braces. All is good, at least now. I'm knocking on wood as I write this. FWIW, the VA and MD doctors suggested an alph. Our local ortho didn't buy into it. We haven't gotten it. Again, my son is now asymptomatic, happy and healthy. Honestly, I feel like I'm jinxing it every time I say that. Feel free to PM me if you have more questions. I'd be glad to help. Although I didn't get Sheila's PM, so if I don't reply, post on here again.
  6. Hi Sheila I did not get your PM.
  7. My son is now 14 1/2. We started seeing eye tics when he was about 6 or 7. He was originally diagnosed with TS. That was later changed to CMTD, along with something else that they couldn't diagnose. The CMTD was getting worse as he got older. The other issue caused absolutely horrible tics starting at about the age of 11. His head would tic uncontrollably (like a baseball card in bicycle spokes ) for 45 minutes at a time. Along the way, we tried many things. This included dietary changes, fish oil, pharmaceuticals, magnesium, and essential oils. We also tried cranial sacral therapy and Brain Balance (didn't helped tics, but helped school). He got his first dental appliance about three years ago. He has had several since then. He lost one. He broke one. One broke due to his growth. I also had to dig through the trash a couple of times. After the first one broke, the doctor suggested that it was time to use braces instead. That was a terrible mistake. About six weeks after we put the braces on, the horrible head tics started. We drove down to VA to see Doctor Stack. He wasn't able to help. But Dr. Sims in Baltimore made an upper mouthpiece in addition to the lower mouthpiece. That worked. We saw a modest immediate improvement. Within three weeks the tics (and urges to tic) were practically all gone. Last summer, he started to get urges for the horrendous head tics that I described above. He could suppress them, but would get terrible headaches when he did. The urges would happen whenever he would exert himself, physically or mentally. We drove south again to see Dr. Sims. He showed us how the mouthpiece no longer fit. He made some adjustments. Sure enough, after about three weeks the urges were gone. This April, my son lost one of the mouthpieces. I wanted to take him to see Dr. Sims during the school break. But he didn't want to go. He pointed out that he'd barely been wearing them the last month or so. He said that he didn't need them anymore. So we didn't go. Instead, we went to see our local Ortho who'd been assisting with all of this. He told us that my son's jaw seems to have grown into the position that the mouthpiece was guiding it to. So that for the moment he didn't seem to need a mouthpiece. Dr. Sims said that made sense and that he might not need one at all now since his jaw is nearly done growing. Since April, he's been completely asymptomatic. The urges and tics might come back. But then again, they might not. I would implore all of you to research this approach. I remember reading (I think on this board) that this approach only helps people with TMJ issues. That may be so. But if my son had TMJ issues we were completely unaware of them, Two of the doctors that I've worked with on this spoke of success rates well over 50%. I believe them, I've corresponded with other parents who helped their children this way. I'd be glad to respond to any questions.
  8. Hi Hopeful His tics were reduced by about 80%-90% before it broke. I could easily go a week without seeing any tics. I think the more that you wear it, the more effective it is. But the effects do stick around some. So it's not like eyeglasses. He hasn't had OCD or attention issues. I was trying to figure out how to private message you to give you my phone number. I'd be happy to talk on the phone if you wished. But I couldn't figure out how to PM you. Alan
  9. Hi Stillhopeful Honestly, it's been a bit of a roller coaster ride lately. About 3 months ago, his mouthpiece broke. It broke because his jaw grew. The TMJ doctor suggested that we now get braces instead. He said, if done correctly, they'll serve the same purpose as the mouthpiece. Well after about 6 week with braces, the tics came back strong. Braces were not appropriate at that point. Apparently, because his jaw issues had not been corrected. About three weeks ago, he got two mouthpieces from Dr. Sims in Baltimore, an upper and a lower. He's wearing them both and his tics seem to be improving. But it's hard to draw any definitive conclusions. It should be noted that we recently took him to see Dr. King at the Yale Center for tics and OCD. We were informed that Wyatt did not actually have Tourette's. They changed the diagnosis to Chronic Motor Tic Syndrome. They did this because his phonic tics are rare and extremely mild. In fact, they might not even be tics at all. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have anymore questions.
  10. Bigal

    How Orthodontic Affects Tics?

    Mathmom, thank you very much for that input. I knew much of that, but not completely. The ortho that I am using has consulted with Dr. Stack. So I hope that he knows what he is doing. As of right now, Wyatt's tics are as bad as they've been in a long time. The ortho said that he would call Dr. Stack tomorrow. I copied your response and emailed it to the ortho. Thanks again Alan
  11. Bigal

    How Orthodontic Affects Tics?

    As mentioned above, braces could potentially help some people with Tourette's. I think it is most likely to help those with an overbite. My son, who is now 12 1/2 got braces about 6 weeks ago. This is after wearing a mouth appliance based on the style that Dr. Stack made. He wore the appliance for about ten months and his tics became much less frequent. My son and I were delighted with the improvement. The dentist explained from the start though that ultimately we would need to get him braces to permanently correct his overbite. About two months ago, the appliance broke for the second time. The dentist said he couldn't fix it because it broke because of changes in my son's mouth. We could either get another of just get braces. So now we have braces, with elastics. I'd say that until about 5 days ago, the reduction in tics was maintained. But they have started to come back now. Nothing terrible, but enough to be worrisome. So from what I know about all this, it appears that correcting an overbite can help tics. It did help my son. But I'm not sure if braces are as effective as the appliance for tics. I would think that it should be, but that hasn't been my experience so far.
  12. Hi Lora As I understand it, Dr. Brendan Stack is the originator of this treatment. He has many videos at his website showing patients immediately benefitting from the retainers. He is based in VA. Dr. Sims (MD) and Dr. Demerjian (CA) also use this treatment. I think they learned about it from Dr. Stack. I had emailed Dr. Stack this summer and he responded that I should contact Dr. Larry Lockerman in Worcester, MA, since I live in MA. As I learned from Dr. Lockerman,he had been visiting with Dr. Stack when Dr. Stack received my email. So my son was Dr. Lockerman's first patient (for this treatment). FWIW, my son did not get the immediate results that patients seem to get in the videos. His progress was quite gradual. It took about two months until we could say without hesitation that it helped. As an aside, my son lost the retainer about 7 weeks ago. At the time his tics were essentially gone. I could easily go a week without seeing any. We decided to wait and see if we needed to replace it. The doctor agreed that the adjustment to his jaw might stick. Also, he is getting braces as soon as his final baby tooth is out anyway. And the retainers are not cheap. I wish we hadn't waited. About 3 weeks ago we started seeing tics. We made an appointment and got a new retainer ten days ago. But his tics continued to worsen. He had a pretty bad day two days ago. Yesterday and today are progressively better. Even though I saw this treatment work for him before, I'm nervous about it now. The woman that I met on this forum, that had initially encouraged me to try it, had at first tried a local doctor. Her son apparently saw a modest benefit. They then went to Dr. Demersian and got even better results. If you are near one of the experienced doctors you'd probably want to contact one of them first. If not, it's possible that Dr. Stack could direct you to a local doctor that he has instructed. Also, if your son is ready for braces I wouldn't just get them without qualifying the orthodontist. From what Dr. Lockerman explained to me, there is more than one school of thought in the orthodonture world. He explained that we would need to find a "functional orthodontist" for my son's braces. He said that that approach is in the minority. I wish you and your son the best of luck. He certainly sounds like a strong candidate for this treatment. Feel free to post any questions or send me a message. Best Alan
  13. Hi Rowing Mom, Yeah I think the mouthpiece flipping things is a sports things. He sees lots of basketball players doing that on TV. I think that's where he got it. Became a habit, ironically perhaps a tic. I really don't know. From what I understand, orthodontics should have the same effect as the mouthpiece. So yes, definitely mention it to the orthodontist. In fact, you may want to consider this when you choose your orthodontist. I was told when I got the mouthpiece that I should look for a "functional orthodontist". As we tried to find a way to get him to keep the piece in his mouth more we went to an orthodontist that was recommended by our dentist. The orthodontist installed some "latches" that were intended to keep him from flicking it around. It didn't help. But I was very pleased. This orthodontist was very interested in the concept. He watched the videos. He spoke with Dr. Stack. He learned all that he could. He will be my son's orthodontist once he loses his last baby tooth. Best of luck Alan
  14. Well I think we can agree on my primary point. This is a treatment that parents should consider/explore. But I also want to make an additional point clear. Don't rule this treatment out because you or your child does not have TMJ issues. I did that for quite awhile. But several months back I was urged by the writer of a success story on this board to try it. I had no awareness of my son having a TMJ issue. But maybe he did. All I know is that for the last two months or so his tics are essentially gone. He is delighted about it. I am delighted about it. Alan
  15. Yes, but here's an important point. We were not aware of him having any TMJ issues. In fact, while I had seen posts about this treatment on the Forum, I ignored them because we didn't think he had any TMJ issues. My wife has TMJ issues. So we know what it is. But my son - no jaw pain, no clicking. Lo and behold, we go see this doctor and he applies lightl pressure to both sides of my son's cheeks and asks him to close his mouth. Sure enough, there was audible clicking. Also FWIW, I'm not really sure that this is actually about TMJ. My understanding from the Doctor's is that these patient's lower jaw is too long (or too short - I think too long). The mouthpiece is designed to correct that. Is that a TMJ issue? I don't know. In any event, we were not aware of my son having any TMJ issues or even a need for braces. For what it's worth, one of the two "experienced dentists" said that the treatment had helped 2/3 of the Tourette's patients that he has seen. The other said 80%. Of course, I can' vouch for those numbers. All that I know for sure is that it has helped my son a great deal. And we were not aware of any TMJ issues.
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