Orthodontic problems can be prevented and corrected if diagnosed and treated at an early age.
Early treatment and detection of orthodontic issues is crucial for the development and growing stages for children.
A baby’s jaw is 50% the size of an adult one. By the time a child is nine, their jaw has developed to about 80% of their projected adult size. By age 12, a child’s jaw has reached 90% of its fully grown adult size. Hence, early treatment is beneficial as the growth of the bone can be influenced while children are still in the growing stages; later on, the changes are more bone remodelling rather than bone growth.
The development of teeth should ideally grow in their corrected spaces, perfectly balanced by the forces of the soft tissue, pushing both outwards and inwards. Early orthodontic treatment generally takes place when a child is 8-10 years old, this is because their teeth and jaws are easier to manipulate at this age.
Signs your child may need early intervention
There are many ways to determine if your child may need early intervention orthodontic treatment, including:
- Early loss of baby teeth (before five years)
- Mouth breathing
- Protruding front teeth
- If their teeth don’t meet properly when biting
- If your child’s front teeth are crowded (generally unnoticeable until the child is around seven or eight years old)
- Biting or chewing difficulties
- If they suffer with a speech impediment
- If your child’s jaw shifts when he or she opens or closes the mouth
- If your child is older than five and still sucks a thumb or finger
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the ‘movement of teeth’, orthodontists most commonly straighten abnormal misaligned teeth, jaw, face and the surrounding soft tissues including the muscles. Orthodontics will provide you with a healthy functional bite and prevent any teeth diseases.
The most common complications orthodontists fix include:
- Crowded teeth
- Open bite
- Deep overbite
- Cross bite
- Reverse overjet
Orthopaedics often makes use of appliances to correct habits, which in this case, influences the development of jaws, surrounding soft tissues and muscles.
How does orthodontics lead to early intervention?
Early orthodontic treatment begins while a child’s jaw bones are still quite soft. Their bones do not harden until children reach their late teens. As the bones are still flexible, corrective procedures work much faster and more effectively than they do for teens and adults.
Early orthodontic treatment from Dental Pearls, known as Phase One, intends to correct more serious bite related problems and guide the jaw’s growth pattern. Early treatment may also help to make extra room in the mouth for the permanent teeth to be properly aligned as they erupt.
This is normally done in two phases. The first phase is when the jaw is assessed and then, using appliances, guided to grow to achieve the best possible position. This process (quite importantly) respects the airways, jaw joints and aesthetics of the patient’s face. The treatment is done to correct /minimise any discrepancies in the way the jaws develop.
The second phase is then to bring the mandible forward and in function.
This may mean that the final stage of aligning, which happens once the adult teeth have all erupted, is greatly minimised if not eliminated. With advancements in orthopaedic care today, it is possible to map and analyse the future position of the permanent dentition, when using oral appliances to achieve guided growth of the jaws.
How can Dental Pearls Brisbane help?
There are several ways you can determine whether your child may need early orthodontic treatment. However, the best way to know is to bring them in for a consultation with our friendly team at Dental Pearls.
To find out more about dental health and wellness for kids, click here to check out some healthy teeth activities you and your child can practice!
If you or your child were after a general check-up, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us here or call us on (07) 3210 2144.