Fixing the cause, not just the symptom

As Alpers is focused not only on achieving nice, straight smile - we also want to create healthy smiles that will last.

There are several factors which can cause over-crowded or crooked teeth and its essential that we treat these issues alongside your orthodontic plan.

We have an integrated practitioner here who can go over all of these with you by assessing tongue posture, facial muscles, breathing habits and more!

As Alpers is focused not only on achieving a nice, straight smile - we also want to create healthy smiles that will last.

Oro-Facial Assessments

As a part of the treatment plan at Alpers, every Orthodontic patient will be booked in for an
Orofacial Assessment in which we check breathing and oral posture to see if there are any habits
which may need correcting with either breathing or myofunctional exercises.

We take mouth posture seriously at Alpers, because if these muscles are out of balance the teeth, jaws and face will be affected and we want to be sure that the corrective work being done with the plates and braces doesn’t subsequently become undone as a result of any detrimental oral habits.

Myofunctional Therapy

A non-surgical, oral facial muscle therapy that combines exercise and measurements to improve the function of the facial muscles or “mouth posture”.

The target of treatment is often to correct a deviated swallow or “tongue thrust” that can result in abnormal swallowing patterns; and we also look at any tendency to have unaware “open mouth posture” and will work on strengthening lip tone.

Thumb-sucking and pacifier use are other habits which can re-shape the mouth and affect the way the teeth are coming through and the function of the swallow.

By strengthening oral facial muscles, the patient will be able to correct habits developed over a lifetime and learn to swallow correctly.

The average person swallows 500 to 700 times a day. Swallowing doesn’t seem all that important, but it is really the overall function of the mouth, tongue, teeth and throat that can have an effect on the appearance of the teeth and facial profile, our body’s ability to process the food we eat and our ability to pronounce words.

If the tongue isn’t resting properly during swallowing, it can affect all these other things.

Alpers Breathing Course

Mouth breathing is often caused by nasal blockage due to allergies or respiratory infections. Enlarged tonsils or adenoids are often contributors to a mouth-breathing habit.

When a child can’t breathe through his/her nose, they have to breathe through the mouth and that brings the tongue down off the roof of the mouth.

It only takes children a few days of chronic mouth breathing (such as during a cold or prolonged respiratory illness) for the habit to overtake natural nose breathing.

Mouth breathing leads to a whole host of other bodily malfunctions that require adequate oxygen supply to work properly. Children who mouth breathe all hyperventilate, which disrupts our natural body mechanics leading to many symptoms including:

  • Headaches
  • Gingivitis and gum disease
  • Recurrent Sore throat and cold symptoms
  • Bad breath and higher risk for cavities
  • Poor sleep – leading to chronic fatigue
  • Digestive disturbances – gas, upset stomach, acid reflux

Over a lifetime, mouth breathing can cause high blood pressure, heart problems, sleep apnoea and other medical issues because of poor oxygen concentration in the bloodstream.

Children who breathe through their mouths do not sleep well, so they’re tired during the day, irritable and have difficulty concentrating on and understanding class work.

This difficulty translates into acting out behaviourally — the kind of behaviour commonly attributed to ADD and ADHD.

At the initial Orthodontic Consultation, Dr Anderson will assess the airways from the x-rays and discuss whether specialist referrals may be needed in the case of significant adenoid or tonsil issues.

For children who mouth breathe due to allergies, treatment strategies may need to be discussed, to determine what the allergy is and how to eliminate it from the environment.

The ABC courses focus on breaking the mouth-breathing pattern and, if caught early enough, to help guide the development of the mouth, teeth and tongue, into their optimal position and shape. The first goal of treatment is to reduce hyperventilation in these children – that alone will have a huge impact on everything else.

Alpers Dental has had a long and valued association with Glenn White from Buteyko Breathing Clinics in Auckland so that we can provide in-house retraining programmes for habitual mouth-breathers.

For patients with severe symptoms related to hyperventilation we recommend the full Buteyko Breathing programme with Glenn.

Mei’s Natural Health Clinic Acupuncture & Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Lymphatic Drainage is a gentle relaxing massage that encourages the movement of lymphatic fluids around the body.

By using light pressure with gentle, rhythmic strokes and soft pumping movements in the direction of the lymph nodes to help the lymphatic system to remove stagnant waste and toxins from the body naturally.
Lymphatic drainage can improve circulation, swelling, fibromyalgia, skin disorders, fatigue, stress, insomnia, digestive problems, migraine episodes and arthritis.


Acupuncture can improve a wide range of ailments such as, emotional disorders, digestive issues, hormone imbalances, pain disorders and chronic diseases.

Traditional Chinese medicine has used Acupuncture as a healing technique for over 3000 years, it is a safe and effective method of treating ailments and relieving pain. This is done by using tiny, thin needles to stimulate specific points to correct the flow of energy throughout the body - also called qi or chi.

Hello, my name is Mei Chen. I have had over twenty years of experience in the health industry. Since 1998 I began to practice as a nurse and then I worked assisting a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor (both acupuncture & herbal) in the hospital before moving to NZ.

I have worked here as a natural healing therapist in an interactive therapies clinic in Parnell from 2008, where I worked and trained with manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) and other natural healing techniques for post-operative care and wellbeing.

I have completed a Bachelor degree of Acupuncture and am registered for Metagenics (quality natural supplement supply).

Now my speciality is the use of combination treatment with acupuncture, MLD and natural supplements for treatment and health maintenance. Acupuncture & Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) offers a drug free, natural way to improve physical and mental health.

I’m specialised in treating all types of swelling caused by surgeries, injuries or other unknown causes. My special interests include treatment of internal health issues (such as gut heath and digestive disorders), gynaecological disorders (PCOS, Endometriosis, menopausal and fertility), Sinusitis and Hayfever, Mental Health (stress, anxiety and depression) and sports injuries with pain and swelling.

Mei is available for bookings at Alpers on Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays – Please phone 0210723535 or email