Early orthodontic treatment is beneficial

Are you considering orthodontics for your child? Bringing your child to see an orthodontist early can prevent future problems and often avoid surgery.

Early intervention treatments utilise the fact that the child is still growing. Early treatment occurs when children around the age of seven to ten still have a mix of primary and permanent teeth. The benefit of early treatment is early diagnosis which may help tooth eruption, guide facial growth and can prevent serious problems from arising.

By minimising these problems in the early development stages, later orthodontic treatment may be reduced, made easier and often cost less in the long run. These can be passive or functional appliances:

Passive appliances:

  • Lingual Arch is used to hold space and preserve the arch length for the upper or lower jaw and is used when the baby teeth are lost early, and/or late eruption of adult teeth. The prevention of crowding can reduce the need for the removal of permanent teeth in the future.
  • Space Maintainer is used to hold space and is often used when the baby teeth are lost early. It’s necessary to hold space for un-erupted teeth to ensure the teeth don’t drift into their place and cause crowding. The prevention of crowding can reduce the need for the extraction of permanent teeth in the long run.
  • Trans Palatal Arch is used in the upper arch and is a wire which extends across the roof of the mouth and attached to the upper first molar teeth. A TPA is used to provide more anchorage in the upper arch to allow maintenance of the arch width and to maintain the upper first molars position.

Functional appliances:

  • Headgear is an appliance that’s worn at night to generate special force that guides the growth of the face and jaws and is used to move the teeth into a better position which can prevent the need for extractions later on.
  • Reverse Pull Headgear is used to help guide the teeth and upper jaw into a better position. It is used to move the teeth and can often prevent the need for extractions.
  • Twin Blocks are a type of removable functional appliance that consists of upper and lower plates that work together to allow the lower jaw to move into a more forward position. Twin Blocks won’t straighten teeth, but will allow for a more functional bite by allowing the jaw to grow to its maximum potential. Worn at a young age, they are put on while the patient is growing and in some cases can prevent the need for surgery later on.
  • The CBJ/Herbst appliance is used to permit the lower jaw to be postured in a more forward position. Used when the patient is growing, this encourages the lower jaw to grow to its full potential. A CBJ/Herbst consists of a few different components:
  • an upper frame with an upper maxillary expander which will be cemented to the upper first molar teeth
  • a lower frame which will be cemented to the lower first molar teeth
  • right and left telescopic arms which are used to posture the lower jaw forward to the ideal position.

Throughout treatment a CBJ/Herbst appliance will be adjusted according to an individual’s growth and the position of the upper and lower jaws. The treatment time is roughly 12 months and once treatment is complete, the appliance is removed and braces may be placed to fully align teeth.

  • Quadhelix (expander) is used when the upper jaw is too narrow to fit all the teeth in or it’s too narrow compared to the lower jaw. It’s used to gently widen the upper jaw to create space and can also be used to help correct the bite at the back of the mouth.

Early orthodontic treatment for your child at South East Orthodontics

While early orthodontics is very effective, sometimes, children may still require further orthodontic treatment later on. These treatments however, will usually be simpler, shorter and more effective when the time comes.

For more information on early orthodontic treatment for children, or to book in your child for a consultation, contact South East Orthodontics today.

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