Sunrise Orthodontics Facial & Airway Development Center

Why is important to know if your child is snoring? Is their face developing correctly? Does their airway have the anatomical support needed? Why the initiative to create the Facial and Airway Development Center?

Nothing is more beautiful than seeing your child grow, arising to new opportunities while maintaining their health. However, when your child shows signs that their face is not developing properly, that they are having difficulties breathing (snoring), or learning; a closer evaluation to your child could bring back their health.

Dr. Calkins places emphasis on the early stages of facial development to create the anatomical structures (facial bones) that can allow for the growth of the airway by implementing the correct function of the stomatognathic system.

Working alongside our families at our facility, Dr. Calkins has completed quality of life questionnaires for patients’ evaluation prior to starting growth stimulation and function re-patterning.

These are some of the questions that create the emphasis on the improved quality of life that children and families have experienced when facial structures are given the opportunity to manifest their full genetic potential under an environment that favors facial growth (epigenetic factors) such as correct breathing, posture of tongue within the palate, lip seal, body alignment that allows for proper use of muscles involved in breathing (diaphragm). Implementation of orofacial myology at Sunrise Orthodontics in junction with craniofacial growth direction, allows for maximization of benefits in the developmental stages of a growing child.

Dr. Calkins has been trained by Dr. Barry Raphael, Dr.  Mark Cruz, Dr. Piper and Dr. Jim McKee, leaders in craniofacial development with emphasis in temporomandibular growth and stability.

In this edition, we share with our families in Northern Virginia some of the findings of our patients. In a pediatric sleep questionnaire, a 4-year-old patient presented with the following findings: snoring while sleeping, occasional heavy breathing if sleeping on her back, but not when on her side; child will stop breathing during the night, and child wakes up with a snoring sound.

Her quality of life questionnaire will report difficulty breathing through her nose, difficulty keeping her lips together at rest, choking while eating or swallowing, restlessness, snoring and awakening during her night sleep, heavy breathing and open mouth while sleeping, and behavioral issues while at home or school.

After following orofacial myology and systems tailored to stimulate facial growth, our now 5-year-old patient improved in all parameters: she now can breathe through her nose, she can keep her lips together while at rest, her chewing and swallowing are normal, her quality of sleep at night has significant improvement and her behavior has also improved. Her snoring will be still occasional while resting on her back with a pillow. Her face is developing to the desired direction tridimensionally, therefore, sustaining her airway.

These improvements benefit the overall health of our children. At the Facial and Airway Development Center, our champions in orofacial myofunctional therapy make remarkable and sustained improvements.

We owe it all to our little patients and our families, in the diligence displayed by following our advice, guidance, and implementation of systems that will allow the craniofacial respiratory complex to attain the necessary equilibrium to sustain function. 

Dr. Calkins uses 3-D imaging technology to evaluate children’s’ skeletal, dental and upper airway structures. She also interacts with local sleep laboratories to conduct sleep baseline diagnosis and implements algorithms for access to appropriate care, customized to every patients’ needs.

Lately, Dr. Calkins started the use of digital calibration technology, known as MATRx for titration of sleep oral devices for the adult community in need of improvement of sleep-disordered breathing.

The initiative to create the Facial and Airway Development Center focuses on education and early intervention to improve the quality of life of children that suffer from manifestations of sleep-disordered breathing.

We humbly dedicate this article to our patients and families, that place their trust in our philosophy of treatment. We also dedicate this article to our mentors: Dr. Mark Piper, Dr. Jim McKee, Dr. Barry Raphael and Dr. Mark Cruz for being pioneers in guiding the medical community to understand the manifestations of sleep-disordered breathing in children they are researchers in temporomandibular growth, that have given foundation towards understanding this crucial joint.

Meet our champion in orofacial myology training! Thank you to our dear patients!

Facial and Airway Development Center

11490 Commerce Park Dr #430
Reston, VA 20191
(703) 476-3969

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