Frequently Asked Questions
Early orthodontic treatment for children, also known as interceptive orthodontics or Phase 1 orthodontic treatment, aims to correct dental and skeletal issues in children between 6 and 10 years old. It addresses problems such as improper bites, crowded or misaligned teeth, and jaw growth imbalances. Treatment involves using orthodontic appliances like braces, expanders, or removable appliances. The duration varies, and follow-up care is needed until all permanent teeth have erupted. Assessment by a qualified orthodontist or dentist is crucial to determine if early treatment is necessary.
The benefits of early orthodontic treatment:
1. Improved oral health: Early treatment reduces the risk of dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease, by addressing dental and skeletal issues promptly.
2. Prevention of complications: Early intervention prevents complex conditions and invasive treatments in the future, saving time and discomfort for the child.
3. Enhanced facial aesthetics: Correcting alignment issues early on improves the child’s smile and facial appearance, boosting self-esteem.
4. Optimal jaw growth: Early treatment guides proper jaw development, leading to improved oral function, speech, and facial symmetry.
5. Reduced treatment time: Addressing issues early may result in shorter overall treatment times and less extensive treatment in the future.
6. Improved bite and function: Early treatment corrects malocclusions, improving bite alignment, chewing, and speaking abilities.
7. Habit management: Early intervention helps correct harmful habits, preventing potential complications related to dental development.
Remember that the benefits can vary depending on the individual case, and consulting an orthodontist or dentist specialising in paediatric orthodontics is important for personalised assessment.
Early orthodontic treatment is necessary for several reasons. It allows orthodontists to address issues before they worsen, preventing complex conditions and invasive treatments later. It guides dental development, creating space for permanent teeth and reducing the need for extractions. It corrects malocclusions and improves the bite during childhood when the jaws are developing. It can influence jaw growth, enhance the facial profile, and prevent future complications. It also manages harmful oral habits that can impact dental development. Overall, early treatment optimises oral health, aesthetics, and self-confidence.
A lingual arch is a type of dental appliance that is commonly used in orthodontics to maintain space in the dental arch and prevent unwanted movement of teeth. It consists of a wire that is attached to the lingual (tongue) side of the lower or upper teeth, and it spans across the dental arch. The wire is typically made of stainless steel, but it can also be made of other materials such as nickel-titanium or titanium-molybdenum.
Lingual arches are often used in cases where a patient has lost one or more baby teeth prematurely or has a significant amount of space between their teeth. The appliance can help prevent the surrounding teeth from drifting into the space and can also create enough room for permanent teeth to erupt properly.
Lingual arches are typically adjusted periodically by an orthodontist to ensure that they continue to maintain the correct amount of space in the dental arch. They are often used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances, such as braces or aligners, to achieve optimal tooth alignment and bite correction.
A Quad helix is a type of dental appliance used in orthodontics to correct dental malocclusions (improper bites) by expanding the width of the upper dental arch. It is also known as a palatal expander or a rapid maxillary expander.
The Quad helix appliance consists of a small metal framework that is custom-made to fit the roof of the mouth. The framework has four arms that extend towards the back of the mouth and are attached to the molars on each side. The appliance is anchored in place by small bands that are cemented to the molars.
The Quad helix appliance works by applying gentle pressure to the teeth and the bones of the upper jaw. This pressure causes the bones to gradually separate and expand, creating additional space for the teeth to move into proper alignment. The Quad helix can also help to correct crossbites, where the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, by widening the upper arch to align with the lower teeth.
The Quad helix is typically adjusted by an orthodontist every few weeks to gradually increase the amount of expansion. The appliance is usually worn for several months until the desired amount of expansion is achieved. After the appliance is removed, patients will often wear a retainer to maintain the expansion and prevent the teeth from shifting back to their original position.
The Herbst appliance is a type of orthodontic appliance that is used to correct overbite, a condition where the upper teeth significantly overlap the lower teeth. It is named after its inventor, Dr. Emil Herbst.
The Herbst appliance is typically used in cases where the overbite is caused by a discrepancy between the size of the upper and lower jaws. The appliance consists of metal rods that are attached to bands placed on the upper and lower molars. The rods are designed to hold the lower jaw forward in a more natural position, which can help reduce the overbite.
The Herbst appliance is typically worn for 9–12 months and it is adjusted periodically by an orthodontist to ensure that the jaw is being moved in the correct direction. Patients may experience some discomfort or difficulty speaking and eating during the first few days after the appliance is placed, but these side effects usually subside quickly.
One of the advantages of the Herbst appliance is that it can help correct the overbite without requiring the patient to wear headgear. It can also be used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances, such as braces or aligners, to achieve optimal bite correction and tooth alignment.
As with any orthodontic treatment, the use of the Herbst appliance requires careful monitoring by an orthodontist to ensure that the treatment is progressing as planned and to address any issues that may arise.