The ALF System as developed by this author offers practitioners a comprehensive approach not available in either conventional and functional orthopedics and orthodontic paradigms.

Why the ALF System provides Superior Orthodontic Treatment: Dental Malocclusion's Impact on Self-Esteem, Intelligence and Health

By Gerald H. Smith, DDS, DNM

Since Darick Nordstrom's introduction of the ALF appliance in 1983, clinical use has been gaining acceptance by both dentists and patients. The reasons are obvious once patients and practitioners become aware of the relationship between straight teeth, a balanced cranium, and overall improvement of self-esteem, increased intelligence and better health.

Interestingly, children start assessing their peers at a very early age (1). Young patients who present a visual malocclusion exhibit a drop in self-esteem (2, 3, 4). Research by Albino and coauthors showed that orthodontic treatment improved a person's self-esteem as it relates to their dental and facial attractiveness. Also demonstrated was the fact that a person's personality was positively influenced by a correction of facial and mouth appearance.

There are a growing number of articles in the scientific literature that document a direct correlation between occlusal disharmony, working memory performance (5), and cognitive dysfunction (6). Research in humans has shown that mastication maintains cognitive function in the hippocampus part of the brain, which is important for learning and memory. Research at the Kanagawa Dental College in Japan, documented that reduced mastication is a definite risk factor for the development of dementia in humans, attenuates spatial memory and causes hippocampal neurons to deteriorate morphologically and functionally. Their experiments showed that a more functional occlusion improves the performance of sustained cognitive tasks by increasing the activation of the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, the brain areas that are essential for cognitive processing.

One of the great pioneers in the field of biological dentistry and author of The Dental Physician, Dr. Aelred C. Fonder, documented a direct correlation between the autonomic nervous system and its accompanying symptoms and the Dental Distress Syndrome. Doctor Fonder noted the routine disappearance of many medical maladies when the dental malocclusions were corrected. In Dr. Fonder's book, The Dental Physician, he lists the various medical conditions by systems that positively responded to occlusal correction: TMJs, lungs, eyes, cardiovascular, visceral, gynecological, mental, postural and general symptoms to name a few. Dr. Fonder stated, "These results indicate that in removing the condition of malocclusion and the resultant dental distress factors, we are dealing with a biologic whole and not just teeth and the adjacent tissues."

The ALF System as developed by this author offers practitioners a comprehensive approach not available in either conventional and functional orthopedics and orthodontic paradigms. A three-dimensional diagnostic and treatment approach coupled with this author's breakthrough diagnostic technology, Cranial Indicator System, guides the entire orthopedic/orthodontic treatment process to re-establish the patient's occlusal cranial scheme back to factory default. For the first time in the history of the evolution of orthodontics, the clinician has a rational and functional approach to establishing a level foundation, the maxillae, coupled with a selfcorrecting mechanism, stable occlusion, for balancing the twenty-eight bones of the skull. The ALF System helps dentists achieve the common goals of orthodontics (facial esthetics, TMJ stability, and straight teeth) but also improve the patient's self-esteem, improve cognitive function and overall general health.


  1. Dion KK, Berrscheid E. Physical attractiveness and beer perception among children. Sociometry 1974; 37:1-12.
  2. Helm s, Kreiborg S, Solow B. Psychosocial implications of malocclusion: a 15-year follow-up study in 30-year-old Danes. Am J orthod 1985;87:110-118.
  3. Shaw WC. The influence of childrenĀ“s dentofacial appearance on thei social attractiveness as judged by peers and lay adults. Am J orthod 1981;79:399-415.
  4. Shaw WC, Rees G, dawe M, Charles CR. The influence of dentofacial appearance on the social attractiveness of young adults. Am J orthod 1985;87:21-26.
  5. Sakatani K1, Tsujii T, Hirayama T, Katayama Y, Takeda T, Amemiya A, Ishigami K. Effects of occlusal disharmony on working memory performance and prefrontal cortex activity induced by working memory tasks measured by NIRS.
  6. Ono, Y., Occlusion and brain function: mastication as a prevention of cognitive dysfunction. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, 2010;37(8):624-40