Early Treatment and Facial Growth Guidance

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Why Is Early Interceptive Orthodontics Important?

Here at The Dental Group, we prefer that our younger patients receive an early orthodontic evaluation. The earlier we are able to identify a developing problem, the greater the range of options for helping to redirect growth. Oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking or mouth breathing can frequently cause a malocclusion (bad bite) or overcrowding of teeth. Being able to identify the causes of a functional imbalance often allows us to take a non-invasive approach to treatment such as posture and habit retraining and these methods can be very effective.

Often postural problems will be due to less obvious reasons as dietary intolerances can result in nasal congestion and cranial strains may be the product of birth trauma. There are numerous reasons that can result in a change to head and neck posture, impacting the action of facial muscles and jaws. The adverse effects of muscle imbalance include a deficient growth of the upper jaw or maxilla and inappropriate posture and function of the lower jaw or mandible.

What Is the Aim of Early Interceptive Orthodontics?

Our aim is to help guide normal facial growth so your child’s jaws can comfortably accommodate a full set of adult teeth in the ideal aesthetic and functional arrangement. We feel that removing teeth to more easily accommodate teeth is undesirable, not least because it will not correct the underlying imbalances and ultimately could create instability and negative health consequences.

What Type of Solutions May Be Used in Early Interceptive Orthodontics?

We evaluate every child very carefully to understand the underlying issues. This careful diagnosis will enable us to offer the correct treatments from a range of solutions. Possible solutions can include:

  • Diet and nutrition modification
  • Postural retraining using Myo appliances or T4K appliances
  • Myofunctional therapy and we may refer your child to a Specialist Speech Pathologist who will be able to assist with more profound posture and habit problems and speech problems
  • Airway evaluation and management involving a consultation with a Specialist Ear Nose and Throat physician
  • The use of orthopaedic appliance therapy to help develop the jaws and improve the bite in preadolescent children

What is Phased Treatment?

Sometimes treatment will be carried out in distinct phases with Phase I beginning between the ages of 6 and 12. At this stage, treatment will use one or more non-invasive and straightforward therapies and is designed to help optimise the shape of the arches and the relationship between the upper and lower teeth.

A second phase of treatment can be carried out between the ages of 12 and 15 and will concentrate on tooth realignment. Treatment at this stage is usually more cosmetically oriented and will help provide your child with a nice, attractive smile.

By the end of treatment your child should have a full set of teeth that are ideally aligned, enabling them to breathe without obstruction. Their jaw joints and musculature will be able to function in harmony, providing lifelong benefits


We Encourage Questions

Any recommended treatments are always fully explained and we actively encourage questions. You can rest assured it will never be too much trouble as we want you to have all the knowledge required to make informed choices about your dental care. This is absolutely essential in building trust so you can have complete confidence in your dental care.