We believe that prevention is better than cure
This is why our orthodontists recommend that children have an orthodontic assessment at around seven years of age, when most of the front adult teeth have erupted.
Early treatment of some conditions may prevent more serious problems from developing, or make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. Early treatment may also achieve results that are not possible once the face and jaws have stopped growing.
If your child has one of the following conditions, a consultation is highly recommended.
Management of Oral Habits (Thumb-sucking)
These habits are harmless most of the time, but in some cases may have detrimental effects on the development of the teeth and jaws. The photo on right is an actual patient who was sucking their thumb for a long time. Notice the changes to the teeth and the open bite which is off centre. We can provide advice on how the habit can be managed.
A crossbite is when a single tooth or a group of teeth on the upper jaw sit inside the bottom jaw. Crossbites can develop due to hereditary factors or can be a result of mouth breathing or enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Thumb-sucking can also result in narrowing of the upper jaw, potentially resulting in a crossbite. Early treatment is indicated as the position of the primary dentition can affect permanent dentition. Crossbites may also result in prolonged treatment time later on and a single crossbite on a front tooth can result in wear of permanent teeth and may damage the gums of the lower front teeth by placing excessive pressure. Deviation of the bottom jaw can also take place potentially resulting in asymmetrical growth of the bottom jaw.
Removal of compromised teeth
Decayed teeth or hypoplastic teeth can be compromised despite treatment with fillings. Permanent teeth with deep, large fillings may require long-term maintenance such as root canals and crowns. It may be possible as part of the orthodontic treatment plan to remove these compromised teeth to minimise long-term maintenance.
Small lower jaw
A small lower jaw can be a source of distress in school aged children, especially where the lower lip is trapped under the upper front teeth. Plates can be used to improve the horizontal projection of the lower jaw. These plates, called a “Twin Block”, can provide benefits during the growth spurt.