Early Treatments

Correcting Bad Habits

Correcting Bad Habits

People pick up a bad habit at one time or another. There are few cases where a child’s habits are risky to health and can greatly influence the function and development of his or her mouth, jaws and teeth. Some examples include persistent tongue thrusting, mouth breathing and thumb sucking.

The sucking reflex usually disappears between ages 2 and 4; it is quite natural in early childhood. But when this reflex continues, the teeth move apart and the jaws to change shape because of the pressure of the digit on the front teeth and the upper jaw. This may result to impaired speech and an orthodontic problem called open bite. This orthodontic problem is as a result of the tongue pushing forward against the teeth.

An abnormal breathing pattern in which the mouth always remains open, passing air directly to the lungs is known as Mouth breathing and this is linked to alterations in the muscular function of the tongue and face. This can result to major orthodontic problems, as it causes the abnormal growth of the upper and lower jaw. Mouth breathing can easily become a habitual action that is difficult to stop and it can lead to a physical difficulty.

These parafunctional habits can easily be corrected with various orthodontic treatments available. When they are treated at an early stage, you stand the lesser the damage. Bring your child in for an early orthodontic screening because these potential problems are not always easy to recognize.

Remember! We use the NO YUCK method of a simple digital scan vs filling the mouth with that horrible older choking clay

Early Treatment

 In most cases, when your youngster’s dental condition is treated at an early stage, you stand the chance of a less damage. Orthodontic treatment should be done as soon as possible especially when it comes to your dental health. Do you know that earlier may be better than later? The American Association of Orthodontists reported that kids should have their first orthodontic screening at 7 years. What makes early treatment and early evaluation so important?

​ Your kids can benefit from seeing an orthodontist at an early age in several ways. But it is important to know that early evaluation isn’t necessarily followed by early treatment; in most cases, if orthodontic work is not needed, then we monitor their growth patterns until it is time for treatment to start. This gives us an opportunity to prevent future problems and achieve the best results in the most efficient way.

​For many kids, their first adult molars have started to emerge by age six even though children’s development varies.  Let us get a handle on the basic alignment of the teeth, from side to side and front to back. At this point, it is also possible to determine whether there is adequate room for all of the permanent teeth in the mouth.

When Earlier Treatment Is Better

At age 9-14, treatment for common orthodontic problems usually starts. Typically, most of the baby teeth are gone and many of the permanent ones replace them. If detected at an early age, some conditions become much easier to treat as a child’s natural growth processes are going full speed ahead.

Also a condition known as severe crowding may also benefit from early treatment. This condition is usually seen when the jaws are too small to accommodate all of the permanent teeth. At this point, a palatal expansion or tooth extraction will be conducted in order to help the adult teeth properly emerge from below the gums. The treatment time of this condition will likely be shorter and less complicated even if braces are required later.

Another condition is severe crossbite.  This is a condition where the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth and a palatal expander can be used for treatment. A palatal expander is a device used to gradually and painlessly widen the upper jaw when the jaw itself hasn’t fully developed. If treatment is delayed an oral surgery or a more complicated treatment will be required for the treatment of the condition.

Another condition is a severe underbite. This is a condition where the lower jaw grows much larger than the upper jaw resulting to protruding front, teeth and they are prone to fractures and chipping; a child’s self-image is also at risk especially when treatment is prolonged.

Early intervention may also be useful in resolving several other problems. Serious bite problems may result from this condition but it can be corrected with Orthodontic appliances, including braces and rubber bands especially when the child’s development is underway, thereby reduces the chances of dental surgery.

MOST IMPORTANTLY? Remember that Dr. K is also a Dentist – Come in for a free consultation and she can help educate you about preventative measures.