Not only for looks but for function, stability, and natural beauty ...

Integrative Orthodontics

ALF stands for 'Advanced Lightwire Functionals'.
• ALF in a Nutshell:
• It is a method to align teeth and improve the bite without braces (orthodontic treament).
• It addresses alignment of the bones (orthopedic treatment) using principles of cranial osteopathy.
• It brings about changes in muscle function to achieve stable results.
• ALF is a whole-body-and-mind approach to improve overall health and performance in every realm.

• cosmetics - barely visible from the outside
• gentle - far less discomfort than with braces
• treatment visits only every 6 to 8 weeks
• stable if dont while child is growing - no need for life-long retention

YouTube video about ALF

Dr. Darick Nordstrom who developed the ALF appliance talks about its function and benefits:

ALF Treatment ALF appliance

Tthe ALF appliance is made of a light, highly flexible wire that enhances the Cranio-Sacral-Rhythm (the rhythmical movement of the skull bones and cerebro-spinal fluid). It works like a cranio-sacral adjustments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Thereby it frees up any jammed sutures between the bones (cranial strains) and allows for realignment using the innate wisdom of the body.


Fig. 4: Basic ALF appliance

In general treatment time ranges anywhere from 2 to 5 years and achieves:
1. correction of existing cranial strains
2. developing of the upper and lower dental arches by expanding them where needed
3. repositioning of the lower jaw relative to the upper
4. establishing the correct height of occlusion/bite (an over-closed bite creates muscle spasms and other problems)
5. retention of the new position to allow the bone and teeth to solidify and fully adapt to the new position

Treatment duration and technique vary between patients according to individual needs. Most of the treatment can be done with ALF appliances, and myofunctional trainers. When needed it can be supported by splints (see-through plastic shells), braces, or plastic mini shells.

The ALF appliances need to be worn all the time. They are hardly visible from the outside and therefore interfere very little with your looks.

It takes about 2 to 3 days to get initially used to the appliance. Your tongue has to adjust and this will affect your speech a little bit in the beginning. Reading out loud to yourself is a fast way to adapt.

Special attention needs to be given to oral hygiene since food will get caught between the wire and your teeth. It is mandatory that you brush after each meal and minimize snacks, particularly sweet ones. You will still be able to floss between most teeth. I highly recommend the use of an oral irrigator which makes home care much easier.

As you go through ALF treatment you should get cranial osteopathic treatment and/or other bodywork to bring about the best results.

More information and to set up an appointment: (970) 903-5128,

An Integrative Approach to Orthodontic Treatment with ALF

Before you build a house you need to make sure that you have a stable, solid foundation. The same is true for orthodontic treatment: before you address straightening teeth and improving the smile your body needs to be well aligned – simply put: you need to stand “straight”.

For most of us this is not a given: for example the head may be pushed forward, one shoulder can be higher than the other, or the hips may be rotated. Think of what happens to a car with misaligned wheels: the ride gets bumpy and the tires wear unevenly. Similarly, you will experience aches and pains, restricted movement, and overall deterioration of your health.

Who needs straight teeth?
If straight teeth were only about looking good then maybe just movie stars would have a need for orthodontic treatment. But straight teeth are about much more.

How many top performing athletes do you see that have crooked teeth?
The answer is: not too many! Physical performance is linked to good posture which then enables efficient muscle function and good reflexes.
In a narrow face there is not enough room to accommodate all teeth. This happens because the jaw bones did not grow to their optimal size. Underlying causes may be:
• Trauma during birth – particularly if forceps were used – leading to cranial strains and distortions
• Accidents
• “Imitation food” (highly processed fast food that lacks nutrients and enzymes)
• Genetic factors

Facial Development
The growth of the upper jaw and the mid-face is about 97% completed by the age of 12; whereas the lower jaw keeps growing until the age of about 20. This is what happens if the upper jaw does not fully develop:
• The upper jaw is narrow – therefore the lower jaw cannot grow forward.
• The lower jaw becomes trapped in a backward position and restricts the nasal airway and normal breathing. Sinus problems and mouth breathing are a common complication.
• TMJ (jaw joint) disorder often follows at a later stage: the joints start clicking, mouth opening becomes impaired and often painful.
• The person develops a forward head posture which opens up the airway and helps breathing.
• In a forward position the head’s center of gravity is out of balance with the spine. The muscles have to work harder to stabilize the head: some muscles get tense, others become overstretched.
• Since the muscles are not in resting position the neck and upper shoulder area become painful. The daily task of being in an upright position takes undue effort.
• The pain restricts motion of the head and neck; other muscles will compensate – eventually leading to the whole body being out of alignment.

broomFig. 1
If you carry a broom with the head straight
up you don’t need a lot of force to hold it.

The more you tilt the broom forward the
harder it gets.



Fig. 2 If your head sits straight over your shoulders the muscles are relaxed.
As the head is positioned forward its center of gravity is off and the muscles have to work very hard.


Why ALF Treatment instead of Conventional Braces?

Dr. Darick Nordstrom from Hollister, CA, designed the ALF appliance in the early 1980's and soon realized that his patients got relief from seemingly unrelated symptoms:

• ear problems: ringing or humming sounds in the ears, decreased hearing ability
• vision problems: blurred vision, strained eye sight
• headaches or migraines
• allergies caused by restricted nasal airway
• neck and back pain resulting from misaligned vertebrae and nerve impingement
• developmental delays like learning problems in children due to decreased blood flow to the brain
• TMJ (jaw joint) dysfunction with pain and restrictions of movement
• clenching and grinding of teeth
• digestive problems
• fatigue
• PMS and more ...

You probably wonder how these dramatic health improvement can possibly be brought about by orthodontic treatment.
Here is the explanation: the ALF appliance helps to correct cranial strains...

Cranial strains

The bones of the head are not rigidly fused together! In good health there is minute, rhythmical movement between the bones. In osteopathic terms, is called “cranio-sacral motion”.

skullFig. 3
The skull is not as rigid as it seems to be!
This picture shows the different bones in
different colors. Minute movement is possible
- and necessary – between the bones.





Several causes can lock the bones up and impair the movement:
• trauma during birth, particularly if forceps are used
• injuries / accidents involving the head, e. g. whip-lash injuries
• “imitation food” (fast food that lacks nutrients and enzymes) repressing normal jaw development and thus leading to crowding of teeth and a wrong bite
• tooth loss without adequate replacement or severe tooth abrasion due to grinding or clenching
• dental treatment (extraction of wisdom teeth or tooth replacement with crowns, bridges, partial or complete dentures) or orthodontic treatment which leaves the jaws in an unfavorable position

If the bones of the head are locked up we see a distortion or “cranial strain”. This brings about compromised function and excessive wear and tear.

The effects are similar to those of a strained ankle: due to the pain the body tries to protect the injured part and comes up with compensatory mechanisms: for example overusing other muscle groups to guard the injured ankle which in the long run will create new problems. Or think of a car with misaligned tires: the ride gets bumpy and bald spots appear on the tires.

Find out more about cranial osteopathy.