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Ep 91 Getting to the Root with Holistic Oral Health with Dr. Britney Green

Dr. Britney Green is passionate about taking an alternative and holistic approach to dental & health care. Rather than reacting to and treating your symptoms, she focuses on understanding the root cause. By looking at how your teeth, jaws, and muscles work together, we can address areas that may have been overlooked. Dr. Green empowers parents & patients to take control of their health and wellbeing. She is truly here to support you with long lasting changes.
Strong Ties Oral Health provide orthodontic and other oral health services that are airway focused for infants, children and adults. They help families with breastfeeding issues, picky eating, sleep disturbances, snoring, sleep apnea, headaches, clenching and grinding and TMJ pain. Their services include different therapies and procedures that aid in proper sleep, breathing, eating and development. Procedures include tongue & lip tie releases (infant to adult), early intervention orthodontics (starting before age 6), and airway focused orthodontics (age 7 to adults). Therapy modalities include myofunctional therapy, laser therapy, MNRI therapy and cranial manipulation techniques.

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Cynthia: Welcome to the Well Connected Twin Cities podcast. I am here with Dr. Brittany Green from a strong ties, and I’m very excited to get to know her a little more and hear about all the wonderful things she’s doing. So dr. Brittany, hello, 

Britney: how are you doing today? Good. Thank you. How are you?

Cynthia: Good, good. So Dr. Brittany Green. For anyone who doesn’t know you, why don’t you introduce yourself and your area of expertise? 

Britney: Yeah, so I am a general dentist and I graduated from N Y U in 2016. But I did general practice for about a year [00:03:00] and a half, and because I kept questioning the things that I was learning, I took a lot of continued education courses and really got into And airway health.

And so in 2018 I worked in a couple of practices that were only limited to dental sleep medicine. So we made oral appliances for people that had sleep apnea or they would snore. And then I transitioned into a practice full-time that really only did dental sleep medicine. Oral facial pain or treated people with oral facial pain.

For the past few years, that’s all I’ve looked at was the sleep in the pain world primarily in adults. And the more I saw these trends in the adults they kept asking, wait a second, could you help my child though? I don’t want my child to go through these things. And there’s ways that they.

Be prevented or like, how can we change this? And really that’s what [00:04:00] kind of started me into strong ties was giving families a resource that yeah, this can start when they’re a baby and a toddler and a child. Like we can help set them up in a different path so that they’re not in this position later on, or that it’s a lot less than, their, what their parent parents are dealing with.

So that’s where strong ties. Came out of, and strong ties was actually not just about the tongue tie, it was really about the ties to the community and just the people. And it was really about connecting with other people. So the ties was like between occupational therapists and myself the ot, the doula, the PTs I work with.

It was really that kind of, that tide community of what I was going for. 

Cynthia: I love. Because all of it does tie together, right? And when you’re looking at a patient holistically, you’re tying in all these different lenses to best serve that patient. And I love that. It was born from a. The patient’s needs, right?

[00:05:00] They were asking for it. They’re like, Hey, I want to make sure my kids go, don’t go through this. What can be done? And you made sure to dig in and make that accessible. Yes. 

Britney: Yeah. And I will say from a critic standpoint the challenges with this is because, When you are looking at something long term, right?

We do not have longitudinal studies. So if I were to speak to evidence-based at this point, we cannot see we can’t see that at two years old your child will have headaches and migraines when they are 40. We can’t see that. And I think that it becomes a disservice sometimes. . It almost becomes a reason why parents don’t seek out care because their provider says there’s no evidence to show that.

But when you just look from an observational standpoint and you see these trends, it’s you know what? I cannot speak to that because there are not, there’s not longitudinal studies. We [00:06:00] don’t have a meta-analysis on that, these are the signs and symptoms you have with your child right now, and this is what you are dealing with now, and it’s your choice if you wanna do something about it.

And here are some options. 

Cynthia: Yeah, and I feel like this is a common theme in the world of holistic care because it is so nuanced, it’s hard to do studies on this, right? Because each exactly, each experience is catered to the individual client or the individual patient. And so you can’t randomize control study this because not everyone’s gonna need the same protocol.

And A, there’s not the right funding for these kinds of studies, and B, it would be pretty much impossible to do a randomized controlled study on something like this. And that has become the gold standard of research in the Western culture. And so it’s also recognizing it might not be quote unquote, based on Western culture standards, but it [00:07:00] is evidence-based when you look at observational science and your own.

Wealth of experience around this topic? 

 Hey before dr brittany shares more about starting her business and the kinds of people that she’s serving alex is going to pop on here to tell you a little bit about our sponsors

[00:08:00] [00:09:00] 

Britney: Yeah. So I started this during the pandemic, which was, an interesting time to start a business, but I feel like a lot of people did at that time.

 A lot of self-reflection happening. A lot of, what am I doing and am I fulfilled right? And this has been a long journey. It’s nothing that I just all of a sudden decided I wanted to do. There are a lot of pieces that led me here, but I’ve always been exposed to healthcare, so I grew up going to the hospital frequently.

I was always going to doctor’s appointments. It was just really natural for me to be in healthcare. My younger sister has cerebral palsy, so I grew up with a lot of being in a special needs household and also, Seeing other, like her other classmates, it just really opened up my world in a different way.

So it was very natural for me to ask questions and be involved. And I definitely thought I was going down a different path. I thought I was going more into [00:10:00] surgery, but, life experiences brings you elsewhere. But I think one thing that stuck out to me was,

Growing up with someone who’s non-verbal and is not able to see you really get to observe a lot, right? You try to, you, you observe what’s happening. You’re you’re inferring, you’re trying to understand things because it’s not necessarily as simple and clear. And I think that helped me.

Throughout my journey of healthcare and questioning and critically thinking and reasoning. And I will also say that there are so many times that my sister had a misdiagnosis . So I’m very used to it and I’m very aware of the doctor said this, but this isn’t what’s happening at home.

And so it’s normal for me. And I think that unfortunately in healthcare we don’t think that people can be wrong. So there’s a little bit of humility that I normalize myself because I understood that, wait, these are people, these are systems. It’s not always where it appears to be.

Things change. And so going into healthcare, that was[00:11:00] my mindset of there’s more to the story. We’re always learning. We should always push, we should always advocate for ourselves and that should be normal. So fast forward, I ended up in dental school. I traveled a lot. And almost people can’t see me, but I am a black American woman.

So I had a very different experience of just growing up in this society. And so I think what happened was I had a very different background going to dental school, most people major in biology, they go into chemistry, zoology. They have this very clear path of I wanna be a doctor. This is what happens. I’m the only person that was taking medical anthropology before I even got to school. Because I wanted to understand, let’s learn about our biases before we actually start treating people.

And that’s like unheard of. That’s amazing. What is medical anthropology? Just understanding that we have faults as people and. We’re constantly learning. So basically fast forward, I end up in dental school. I’m seeing things that aren’t making sense or teaching us stuff. It’s like we’re supposed to take it at face value.

But in practice it [00:12:00] wasn’t adding up. And one of the other parts that I really enjoy is is traveled. And in undergrad I had the opportunity to study abroad a couple of different places. One in particular stuck out to me was West Africa and in, in living in a village in West Africa, very remote village.

I saw a lot of differences between their children and American children. I ended up learning that, oh, children shouldn’t actually have crooked teeth.

Kids need to sleep. We’re breathing really fast and we’re really stressed out. I think there’s more here. And just after learning and continuing education, I decided that I wanted to take a more holistic approach and really help families. Simplify healthcare, raise healthier families and really help their children thrive versus just getting by.

And, most people get treated when they have a more severe disease. Or we wait until the disease progresses to be worse before we actually treat treated. So I’m just trying to I created strong ties the [00:13:00] way to really help parents. Understand some of the early signs we are all about early intervention.

That upstream idea we wanna correct or help change the path before things get worse. And then also getting to the root causes of things, right? So even if you’re an adult, we have a lot more unpacking to do. It’s not as simple as a quick band-aid fix, but really of getting at to the foundational level of building like a good solid foundation that you’re able to, have a very easier day-to-day life.


Cynthia: when I was reading through your website something came to mind cuz I’m a health coach and I feel like there was a lot of that like coaching mentality this is something. Where the patient is in the driver’s seat. They’re the one making their decisions. And I’m so glad you took medical anthropology and to be able to have that anthropological lens when you approach your patients and the way you wanna interact with them, I think is huge and clearly can make such a [00:14:00] big difference.

There’s so much research showing that if you’re, walking alongside your patients instead of just. Dominating over them and telling them what to do, that the change is more lasting. The change is more effective. They feel safe. They feel like their nervous system can relax and they can really be in that place ready to heal.

So I’m so glad that you got to dive into your background, cuz what I’m hearing is this theme of being on. A little bit of the outside of the norm, right? There’s the bell curve of what most people do, and you were dancing on the edge all the time of what’s normal?

So that you had a different view , almost a bird’s eye view of what was going on and what different pathways are possible for different 

Britney: results. Yeah, absolutely. You said that much more succinctly than what I was getting at , but yes, absolutely. I think if a big picture of you is really what I take and [00:15:00] that’s why it was so important for me that when I was going through airway health, learning about tongue ties and feeding that it’s a very controversial subject as it is.

And that’s, we can talk about that a whole other time. Like the idea of a tongue tie. It’s not that you just release it, right? It’s to restore the function. And there’s so much that happens with proper swallowing and latching and just like the muscular component of what’s happening with breastfeeding that it’s not just, all right, release the tongue.

It’s We gotta get your pattern, let’s get the habit. Let’s get these foundational things set so that we are setting your child up for success. 

Dr. Green is about to tell us about her amazing team of practitioners and what makes them so special. But before she gets to that, alex wants to tell you about one more of our sponsors. 

[00:16:00] [00:17:00] 


Britney: I work closely with occupational therapists. My dental assistant is also a doula. Like it’s a very, we’re all cross-trained and we learn from each other.

The physical therapist that I refer to aren’t just physical therapists, right? They have this other special modalities that they use. So we all have this bigger picture view and try. Help each other with our own blind. 

Cynthia: Where did you find these people? How did you create your team?

Britney: I’m so curious. . It’s challenging, but pretty much I kept learning. In dentistry, just with the board of dentistry, you are required to have, I don’t even know. I’m gonna, I probably will speak, but I think you need a total. 60 continue education hours every two years or something just to keep your license up.

I have no idea because [00:18:00] I’m always over it. . But like I don’t, I have no idea what it’s but I think it’s 60 and I am someone that would literally. Call up a class of a physical therapist and be like, I want to come in, I want to learn. I know I’m a dentist. I’m not gonna get credit for it, but I wanna understand so I can speak the language so I can like speak more effectively regarding patients.

And so I understand what their goals are, what their philosophy is, because if we’re working towards different things it makes it challenging and it makes patients confused, honestly. I’ve had families where they were told by their pediatrician your baby’s gaining weight, so not a problem.

You’re fine. You don’t need to do anything about this tongue tie. And they say, okay, fast forward, the child is six, they’re in speech and they’ve been in speech for a couple years and they’re not progressing. And now they’re at a point I was told this before and now you’re telling me I need to do this.

And I try to remind family. It’s just that we had different goals, right? , your pediatrician’s goal was for your baby to gain weight, where at this point your goal is speech, and now this is showing up as an issue. And so with [00:19:00] any of our families, we’re trying, I’m trying to bring that home and say, okay, what are your goals?

But also think long term, like right now this may not be a problem, but in 10 years, given whatever circumstance, this might be more of a migraine issue. Headaches, right? So just giving parents and empowering them so they can make those decisions for whatever’s best for them at the time.


Cynthia: Gosh. And tongue ties it seems so little, right? It’s just an extra bit of skin under your tongue that makes it, harder for you to fully utilize your tongue. And yet that can have such a big impact. What might people wanna know about why a tongue tie is a 

Britney: problem?

Yeah, so it can manifest different ways, throughout life. Most common. In babies, right? It’s breastfeeding. That’s where moms will have the biggest concerns. And I say moms because typically it’s someone who’s being breastfed.

With a bottle fed baby, you don’t typically see tongue ties as an issue [00:20:00] because it doesn’t take a lot of work for a baby to use a. It takes work for a baby to be at the breast. And so it’s typically a mom who is breastfeeding and they’re feeling the pain, the discomfort, or the baby is just working really hard.

And a lot of ’em get overlooked if the baby’s bottle-fed just because the baby’s not working. We don’t have to, it’s very different muscles. It’s a lot more passive. And it’s completely fine if you know in your life it makes sense to bottle feed. However, you just might be someone that those signs might get overlooked until they get a little bit older.

And that might be, like I said about toddlers. It looks like picky eating. So it might be like, oh yeah, my, my child just doesn’t like mashed potatoes. Just something very strange. Mashed potatoes, meat, that’s a big one. Where they take a really long time to chew or they’re playing with their food.

All of those are signs that there’s some type of oral aversion that’s happening. And and like I said, it’s not just about the tie. There’s still the patterns. [00:21:00] There’s a function, there’s a habit. So even if there’s a mild restriction, Some of the habits aren’t formed well, or they’re not working through it.

That mild tie, like if you look at it, that mild little thing can actually cause a lot more issues, right? But that has to do with reflexes that we have in utero and just what was happening and the whole family structure. So it’s not just one thing. And I think that’s where it gets challenging.

Later on it might be speech issues. I’ve had kids that have been in speech for years and no one’s ever looked underneath their tongue. And can imagine, right? We think a tongue is no big deal. But if you were to bind up your foot and say, okay, don’t use it. Don’t use it, , right?

We just keep all your toes, like we just wrap it up and we just We’d be limping around, right? We would have hip issues from the other side because we’re doing all this other work. We would have knee issues. Like it makes sense when we think about our other body parts, right? If we literally will say, you can’t use your foot, we’re going to compensate.

So it’s very similar with the tongue. If we can’t use it, we’re [00:22:00] going to compensate somewhere else. We’re going to do it with our jaw, we’re going to do it with other chewing muscles, we’re gonna do something else. And that could potentially lead, later on with adults. It’s a lot of headaches and migraines.

Sometimes your sleep issues too, right? Sleep and headaches go hand in hand. And that really is more common with adults. So if they’ve gotten through all of these things when they’re children, Than in adults, it looks like neck pain. A lot of tension. And sometimes too, it’ll look like a personality thing.

It’ll, know, people say, I’ve always been this type a high strung. I’ve gotta do all these things. And they’re stressed all the time. I’m not saying this is all related to a tongue tie, but , it all just works together, right? I’m not saying that the tongue tie was it’s just the patterns, the habits, the things that you did throughout your life are all contributing factors.

So yeah, that’s one piece of it. It has a lot to do too with like your, how you’re sleeping. If you have a, what we call a low resting tongue posture, if your tongue’s not resting where it should be, which is up to through your mouth. The tongue can sit low and [00:23:00] cause mouth breathing and mouth breathing is not very, it’s not a very efficient way to breathe.

It’s much better to breathe through your nose because it humidifies the air. It cleans the air. There’s so many people that have allergies, but we don’t efficiently clear. The air when we breathe through our mouths, right? . So that can lead to chronic inflammation, congestion all of these other things.

So it’s really just working at the fundamental basis. Yeah, I don’t know. I might have gone off there. Yeah. So 

Cynthia: the tongue ties like the first domino, right? It’s . Yes. Yes. It makes total sense when you say that you would have a team of people who have different areas of expertise that overlap, and I love that you’re going around and you’re actively pursuing.

The language and the mindset of different practitioners so that when you’re looking at your patient holistically, you can [00:24:00] anticipate, what might be a problem, not just for you as a dentist, but also first the next person as a physical therapist and the next person as a feeding specialist or, and it’s just, So amazing

Britney: Um, It’s, yeah, it’s a very, it’s a very different way of going about it, and I think one of the challenges I’ve had with. know, Even talking about what I do or when setting the expectations for families, right? So a lot of times if I have a new family we offer like virtual or phone kind of intake calls at a much lower price so they don’t feel that they’re committed to like having to come in and getting a full workup.

Because this is such a d. Approach that we take versus if you were to go to, your regular provider and they say, okay, this is what I see, this is what you should do, schedule. And if they have enough time, they’ll explain why , if they don’t have enough time, then it is just the recommendation, learn on your own.

And for me it’s really Even if I tell you the recommendations or I see [00:25:00] what’s happening, I have to respect that this is up to you and where you’re at in your life. You could come back in a year and maybe we can talk about this then or some of the recommendations may change because if some families might say, okay, I wanna do something, but I know that I can’t do the exercises right now okay, so in that case, let’s support you therapeutically.

Let’s not do anything surgically. Let’s not do orthodontics. At home, you’re not able to do this right now, and so you’re not gonna get a great effect. So let’s go a different route. But yeah, that is a very much a, I think a health coaching mindset versus the provider telling you what to do.

Cynthia: So yeah, and that’s why health coaches exist, right? Because the medical system as it stands in Western culture is very much I know best do this. This is how you heal. Goodbye now there’s been research and experiential knowledge that doesn’t actually create lasting change.

There are things that get missed like you mentioned with your own experience in childhood, a doctor would say, your sister has this [00:26:00] diagnosis, but They aren’t getting the whole picture. They’re not living at home with her Exactly. And seeing day to day what’s going on. So it’s about asking the questions to pull the answer from the patient rather than us making assumptions and. That’s major. And it’s amazing that you have this lens and that you’ve gathered a team of other practitioners who believe in this style of medicine and this style of working alongside patients, and I’m assuming that you get great results because of it. 

Britney: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s a very sometimes it’s a much slower process, I will say because it’s really like we’re working on the foundation, like I said, so it’s really not this quick oh, everything is great.

But you see these gradual changes and I love seeing it in littles. I say littles, it isn’t like under six. There’s one pediatric dentist that I learned from, a mentor of mine. Jokingly says that you’re pretty much geriatric if you’re seven. , . And so [00:27:00] I love it because it’s they’re like from a developmental standpoint, from your facial development it’s a lot easier to make the changes when they’re younger and you can just see the changes in their face, right?

Kids can have oh really sunken in cheeks. They’ll look really tired or almost like they have bags under their eyes and they’re only three. There’s something going on that their system’s not working well, that they’re that drained. Or if they’re acting out, maybe hyperactivity that’s. , that’s what tiredness looks like in a child. But I would say that the earlier we start, the more drastic we see the changes adults, really their motivation is pain, right?

They’re coming in because they’ve got pain. And it is a slower process, but we’ve seen really great results if we help them with their sleeping. I had, one patient that.

It is funny to watch them forget their initial problems that they had and then they turn into smaller, like other problems. The reason she came in was because she was having headaches every morning, and then when it stopped, she’s oh yeah. Didn’t you tell me that [00:28:00] I was supposed to get a C P A P?

I’m like, yeah, you were supposed to . And she said, I forgot cuz my headaches went away. And then we retested her, she was much better. Actually didn’t need the Z Pap P. So it’s just, it’s pretty amazing the results that can happen. But because there’s so many pieces to it still that’s why , I learned from other providers.

You Even I’ve had one girl and she was a college-aged girl very. all the time had sleep apnea and we reduced her a h i, which is a level of how many arousal are happening at night. How many episodes that she’s having. We reduced it pretty significantly where she went from severe to mild.

So in the world of medicine, that’s a success, right? We’re saying, yay, we did something. But she was still tired. And it’s not for me. The numbers were great, so that’s a success. But the patient was like, I’m still tired. So that’s where we try to find, a functional medicine doctor, we gotta look at your vitamin D levels, your vitamin B, like we, we gotta come from a different standpoint now because, that wasn’t just it.

There’s something else happening. There are other [00:29:00] patterns, maybe other habits like 

Cynthia: . Wow. So it sounds like you take a very hands-on approach where if something’s out of your scope, your answer isn’t oops, sorry, I can’t help you, but it’s Hey, who can help and how can I support you in getting connected to the right person?


Britney: Yeah. It’s very much okay it’s not, we’re done. We did what we needed, which, I dropped. Levels down, which was great. Another provider probably would’ve been like, okay, we’re done. But it was just, all right, if you wanna continue this let’s branch out. Let’s see what else is going on.

Let’s be more comprehensive. Let’s see how we can help. Here are some other providers whether it’s referral network. I don’t have a ton in the Twin Cities, so if anyone is out there, they know people. I’m always looking to collaborate and learn more. . A lot of the people I learned from unfortunately are in California or they’re somewhere, they’re all over the place.

And I’ve had some people travel, but yeah. 

Cynthia: There are a lot of amazing practitioners here in the Twin Cities and you’ll have to tap into the well connected Pro network. There’s a lot of people that I’m sure would [00:30:00] love to connect. But , I just wanna hear

if a patient comes in with a specific problem, and let’s say it’s not in your scope or 

Britney: your understanding, how 

Cynthia: do you collaborate with the other people in your clinic? Is it a handoff? What does that look 

Britney: like? Yeah, so for anyone that’s like a three or under, I typically do new patient evaluations with the occupational, the.

So we, we tend to just do it together so that I can see what I see. She can check the reflexes and that’s been working really well. And then we can come up with a plan together because yeah, it works better that way when they’re that young. And a lot of the reflexes, like I said, it’s really what helps babies the in utero into the first three years of.

So it is a really good time to just have an assessment, even if a parent thinks everything’s fine. A pediatrician isn’t looking for reflexes in the same way. They’re looking to see if they’re there. They’re not necessarily looking to see. You know how intense it is, what’s the direction, how often [00:31:00] so she’s got that more specialized approach.

So then depending on what their concern is, what’s happening we will come up the plan together. Sometimes it’s therapy. Most times there’s some therapy component and therapy can consist of like the occupational therapy that she does. She also uses some other modalities. The other therapy that I do is more hands-on as well.

It can be cranial therapy, so you can actually help manipulate and help guide the growth guidance of the skull and the bones and what’s happening. We also use technologies. So I have laser therapy, so all of these different kind of modalities to help or they’re surgical, so that just might be the release of baton.

And that’s what most people expect when they get, when they have a tongue tie release, right? The surgical part. But there’s all this other therapy that can go with it to help support all those things. And so sometimes therapy may be, 12 sessions, maybe 24 maybe release, but depends on the child some of the treatment might be addressing a tongue tie or just the dysfunction that’s happening in their [00:32:00] mouth. Say maybe it’s not a tie, it may be oral facial myofunctional disorders, which is mouthful to say that they’re just not using the muscles of their mouth well.

And so it’s leading to suboptimal growth. The way that they’re growing, the way that their their cheeks and their tongue, everything’s developing is not ideal or that it could be optimized. So with this group, I might start with orthodontics but orthodontics in a way that is airway friendly and functional friendly, right?

So it’s not about straight teeth, it’s really about improving the function of the child so I will start orthodontics, as young as three and a half in some littles, which is probably unheard of to other providers. But it’s not that we’re starting braces but we’re doing is guiding the growth and we’re using orthodontics as a tool. So it’s really not about the teeth, it’s more about what is your upper jaw doing? What is your lower jaw doing? What are they doing together? And can we help guide that? So when [00:33:00] it’s a younger child, we’re able to do that therapy.

 As an adult, if you’re coming in, it’s usually regarding pain or snoring. That is, that’s the adult that’s coming to me. They’re clenching, they’re grinding, they’re having headaches, neck pain or their spouse is I can’t sleep next to this person anymore.

something needs to change. And that is, absolutely I deal with that myself and I’m in the snoring realm. Actually, my husband is going to go through an orthodontic procedure that I do for others. And we’ll document it and people watch that journey. So I’m excited to start that, but we’ll be placing his expander in next month.

So patients will be able to see the journey as an adult, what it looks like to help with snoring, help with breathing, and then working at a more comprehensive level. 

Cynthia: Yeah. That way. That’s so nice. Your husband’s willing to be the model. . 

Britney: Yes.

It’s it’s hard because what we do is just not common here in Minnesota. Like other people are doing it in different places. But also because of hipaa, I really can’t, I don’t [00:34:00] have a ton of pictures to show people, and so he’s been willing to say, all right, let’s document the journey.

Let’s show people. And they can watch that progression. 

Cynthia: I feel like I get a lot of clients who talk about sleep, talk about snoring and. I feel like the only thing I’ve ever been able to say besides, sleep hygiene and all the lifestyle tips is do a sleep study, right?

Do a sleep study and then if the sleep study has certain results, it’s usually just go on a c p machine. And it seems like that’s the only path. And so it’s nice to know. That there’s another option that there are therapies out there and procedures out there to help and to have a consult or sit down with strong ties would mean you get this disciplinary view on everything to see holistically what can be done.

Britney: Yeah. Yeah. It’s really just. Be able to provide [00:35:00] options to people and I will say that majority of adults that come to me, they’ll have three options. Which is also not typical, right? I wanna be able to provide patients with the options so that they feel empowered and they are like, yep, this is a decision I wanna make.

Unless they really just want a straightforward recommendation, sometimes I have patients that are like, I want you to take the lead , just do it. Like I understand what you’re coming from. Like I know you’re looking at airway, I know you’re looking at functions, so just tell me and I respect that as well and say, okay, this is what I would do.

Cynthia: So if I’ve heard correctly, the kinds of people who might want to come to strong ties for support are babies, children who are having trouble with feeding, having the sunken eyes.

You just notice that something is off about how they’re eating. And then also, actually having the tongue ties, can, you just lift and see. Is that something people can check on their 

Britney: own? They could. I would say that it’s partly appearance and [00:36:00] partly the function.

So they’re like little tests that you can do to see to how is your child moving their tongue? If there’s somebody that just doesn’t ever stick out their tongue to lick a lollipop, maybe there’s something happening. Or weird eating habits, they just do this thing.

Or they’re messy a lot. Crooked teeth is huge. If your child has crooked teeth, that’s pretty much , the easiest thing I can see. Yeah, there, the tongue function, the breathing isn’t working well because ideally, if you had good oral posture and good habits, you don’t need braces.

Your teeth come in straight, you have enough room for them. That is not common in our society. Yeah. Yeah. So anyone that has crooked teeth pretty much probably has some type of airway or functional . 

Cynthia: That’s fascinating because you mentioned if the tongue isn’t working the way it should, then other muscles are recruited to compensate.

So it makes sense then that your teeth are shifting and the way they’re growing isn’t optimal. My parents call this the million dollar [00:37:00] smile because of all the orthodontic work I’ve had to get done. . Nope. 

Britney: Yeah, it happened. Yeah, it’s very common. Very common . But I mean, in some of those things, If it, if it were truly aesthetic, right? If you had braces, a couple of teeth were crooked here and there. Usually not so much of an issue, but I will say I came from a clinic where we worked in oral facial pain, right?

So it was not general dentistry, it was only people that had pain and. Majority of the people had braces, not, and I need to be very clear, it’s not that braces causes the pain, right? It’s not that orthodontics causes headaches, migraines but the reason your teeth were crooked was never addressed.

We just fixed it by doing orthodontics. So you just straighten it out. But it didn’t, we didn’t really get to wait. What was happening? What was the swallowing, what was the chewing like? Those things is what’s gonna cause pain later on. And so if that was never addressed, you’ve got really pretty teeth.

But that [00:38:00] dysfunction is still there. 

Cynthia: Ugh. That’s wild because up until now I just assume teeth come in crooked and that’s why orthodontics exist because this is just natural teeth come in crooked and so to understand that there is a root cause is already.

such a wonderful nugget of wisdom for me and hopefully for listeners to know teeth coming in, cricket is a sign. Something is off. Yeah. 

Britney: Wow, okay. That’s probably the one of the easiest sign. Either as soon as I see a crooked teeth, it’s like, yep, something’s happening. Or even just when they’re really young, like a three-year-old that doesn’t have any room for their teeth, or if in the dentist says, oh, they’re going to need braces when they’re older. That’s a perfect time to intervene because rather than waiting, you know the child’s gonna be going. A bunch of dysfunction waiting for braces and then it still never actually gets addressed.

It would be better to just intervene. So that’s really what we try to do at strong ties to say, okay, wherever they’re at, whether they’re 4, 6, 9, two, what can we do to help put them on a better [00:39:00] path so that we can help minimize risk later on. And all 

Cynthia: of that, ugh, amazing. I’m amazed that this exists, that this can be an option.

We don’t have to just accept our fate and there’s a lot that happens at strong ties, a lot of possibilities and opportunities. I did read on your site. In order to remain more accessible, you don’t take insurance.

Yeah. So how do people navigate the financial aspect of working with strong ties? 

Britney: Yeah, so we are out of network and really it’s because of the approach we take. There’s no way that we would even be able to be in business taking insurance. It just, it wouldn’t happen. We wouldn’t be able to do it.

So there are like I mentioned before there’s a consultation fee that’s much more affordable kind of for everybody. And sometimes if a family has four children and they’re like, what do I do? It’s probably good to start there and just say, all right, let’s, we can [00:40:00] come up with a plan.

What does it look like realistically for a family of five or four to work through these we have different packages of course, too, depending on the therapy. But what we do is also provide a superbill so we can give people statements, they can submit to their insurance on their own.

And that’s typically how most people, they get reimbursed or they use their HSA funds if available. We have the plan to be able to provide more workshops and community events. So that, like I said, a lot of these things parents can do on their own.

They just need to have the resources and then like to be able to know what to do. So a lot of these things, just like little workshops Learning and feeling confident and giving your children solids at an appropriate time is huge for facial development.

And that doesn’t mean you need to go and spend thousands and thousands of dollars. It’s okay, let’s have this breakfast carrot to help your child learn how to shoot. because that’s gonna actually help develop and grow their jaws the way [00:41:00] that they should. So there, there’s so many things that can be done.

And so this year our goal is to grow our email list or community just so that if people are not able to. Come in themselves or they have too many kids, , that they’re like, I, there’s no way I can afford treatment on all these children. That they have a resource that they can take the information and use on their own.

Cynthia: And we will have your website and links in the show notes so that people can check out your website and schedule that consult if they’d like or sign up for the newsletter so they can be in the loop when these workshops in different offerings are available. I love that you’re making it accessible so that as.

Usually approach your patients. It’s meeting them where they’re at. And so that means even financially, meeting them where they’re at. And because. You have this wealth of knowledge of just things people can do right at home. [00:42:00] You already mentioned like carrot feeding, right? , like having a carrot for breakfast so that their jaw can develop a, about what age would you say is a typical time to start doing some morning carrots,

Britney: Yeah. It’s not necessarily the age, I recommend starting with a big carrot that they have to learn how to knot and chew on their own. Got it.

Versus cutting it up into small things. So that’s, even that in itself is big with baby-led weeding, right? Like having the chunks big enough. Your child can actually pick it up and try to nod on their own versus us cutting it up and making it smaller. Because they have to learn the boundaries of their mouth.

They have to understand like they need to trigger the gag reflex with bigger food, not smaller food. . You wanna teach them that. So when I say carrot, I do mean a big carrot and that’s when you can start younger. But if, let’s say it’s someone who. I don’t know, three and a half, but they’ve had food aversions.

They still might be working on getting on carrots. So not for everybody. It’s not a very clear answer, [00:43:00] but I would say starting to introduce solids around six months is awesome. But bigger chunks, right? Like you’re giving them a corn in the cob and they’re just kind of gnawing on it. You give ’em a carrot, like a big carrot.

Playing around. It’s not about nutrition at that point, it’s really just learning about their mouth. 

Cynthia: That’s already such a nice nugget of wisdom. Cuz yeah, our intuition is, oh, keep it small, keep it tiny. Make it easy. But the struggle is where they learn 

Britney: Yes, exactly. , it’s the difficulties pushing the boundaries and you want it to be with them.

Cynthia: . So if there’s one takeaway that someone listening is walking away from this conversation with. , what would you hope that message, that concept is? 

Britney: I will say that a lot of the times that I get parents that come to me, they. Had doubts or they had thoughts early on, like they were they knew [00:44:00] something was not necessarily ideal, but they were told by others.

It was okay. And I would tell parents if you feel that , trust your instincts. Trust your gut. Keep going. Advocate for yourself. Ask questions, learn because it’s your life. It’s your children, your family. So I think that’s the theme, I guess I would say is that if you’re seeing this, go for it.

Don’t feel discouraged. And there are people out there. 

Cynthia: Yeah. 

Yes. I love that. Ah, well thank you so much for your time today. I feel like we can keep talking cuz I’m personally very curious and wanna keep learning . So I’m excited for you to be putting some workshops out there and doing more educating on this, cuz I think that’s so needed.

Britney: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, this has been really great and hopefully this can be helpful for some families out there, but 

Cynthia: yeah.

Yes, I believe it will.

[00:45:00] You did it. You listened to another episode of the Well Connected Twin Cities podcast. Would you do us a giant favor? If you are feeling the love you can always write us a review on Apple Podcast. Those reviews help us get found. It helps our ratings and a house. Make sure other people’s searching for this information can easily find it.

Thank you so much and we’ll see you next time.

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