For parents, it’s not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment. The recommended age that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur is at the age of 7, when the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate side to side and front to back jaw and teeth relationships. At the age of 7, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but the examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment. Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.
Orthodontics is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.
Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:
|Finger or thumb sucking|
|Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments|
|Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping.|
|Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear.|
|Early underbite can result in unfavorable growth.|
|Early deep bite results in the lower front teeth biting into the gum tissue of the upper palate leading to tissue problems and can cause jaw or joint problems.|
|Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.|
Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
- Establish facial symmetry or balance by modifying jaw growth
- Harmonize the width of the dental arches
- Eliminate crossbites that, if uncorrected, may negatively affect growth of the jaws or cause premature wear on the teeth
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Preserve space for unerupted permanent teeth and reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth
- Reduce the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Simplify and/or shorten treatment time for later corrective orthodontics
- Correct thumb-sucking and help improve minor speech problems
- Improve self-esteem
Interceptive orthodontics is defined as the phase of the art and science of orthodontics employed for recognizing and eliminating the potential irregularities and the malpositions of the developing dento-facial complexes.
Interceptive orthodontics is commonly undertaken at the time when the malocclusion is developing or has already developed. Thus, an interceptive orthodontics refers to the measures undertaken for preventing a potential malocclusion from the progression into a more severe one.
The timing of treatment varies depending on the type of problem diagnosed and the physical and emotional development of the patient. Interceptive treatment usually involves removable or partially removable appliances, which are sometimes worn only at night. These appliances include plates, space maintainers, functional appliances, expansion plates or face masks. In specific instances, braces on the front teeth may be indicated for a short time. The choice of appliance depends on the problems diagnosed.
The procedures that are undertaken in the interceptive orthodontics include the following:
- Serial extraction
- Control of the abnormal habits
- Correction of the developing cross bite
- Space regaining
- Interception of the skeletal malrelation
- Muscle exercises
- Removal of bony barrier or soft tissue to enable the tooth eruption
In the serial extraction, orthodontist plans the extraction of a certain deciduous teeth and then specific permanent teeth in a sequence order and pre-determined pattern in order to guide the permanent teeth eruption in a more favorable position.
Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.
If you have any questions, please email us or call our office directly. We look forward to seeing you in our Belgrade Studiodent office and helping to improve your health and well-being.
Please call our office at +381 64 199 4749 or +381 11 324 1689 for any questions or to schedule an appointment.