What is preventive orthodontics?
As soon as your child’s first permanent teeth are present, your dentist can detect if orthodontic treatments might be necessary. It is important to have your child assessed at the right time. Indeed, your dental professional is often the first responder to detect possible orthodontic problems. Some situations can be corrected preventively when they are intercepted early. Around 6-7 years of age, the first signs of malformation of the jaws or teeth may then be visible. Orthodontics in children includes care that aims to harmoniously develop the jaws for proper dental alignment. It guides the child’s dento-facial development to maximize the child’s chewing capacity, speech and optimal nasal breathing on top of ideal esthetics.
Situations that may require preventive orthodontic intervention
- If there is an imbalance between the width of the upper and lower jaw. This can later lead to pain and cracking of the jaw.
- If the front teeth do not touch when the mouth is closed. This is called a open bite and it can lead to swallowing and speech problems.
- If there are bad oral habits such as sucking of the thumb or prolonged use of a pacifier. This can cause severe deformations of the jaw, the displacement of teeth and their misposition.
- If there is premature loss of one or more children’s teeth. This can lead to a loss of space in the jaw caused problems when the adult teeth try to erupt.
Early assessment in children does not necessarily imply the need to intervene at an early age. For some, a timely assessment can lead to significant improvements if orthodontic intervention is appropriate, while for others, the immediate benefit of early assessment will be peace of mind for parents. Your dentist will be able, with all the elements noted on file during the examination of your child’s mouth, to guide you well throughout the process. In some cases, we will only observe what nature is able to do itself while in other cases, we will wait for the eruption of permanent teeth to treat in the most effective way.
Examples of early orthodontic interventions
Here are some orthodontic procedures that may be appointed in children
- A palatine expansion device to widen a palate or upper jaw that is too narrow
- A device to control finger or thumb sucking habits
- The use of an oral screen to try to stop an infant or atypical swallowing habit
- Selected extraction to help the eruption of permanent teeth
- An apparatus for correcting anterior or posterior cross-bite
Your dentist will provide personalized monitoring of your child’s dental progress. He works closely with a specialized colleague orthodontist. Their combined expertise makes a big long-term difference to your little one’s oral health. Dr. Manoukian will determine with you the appropriate time to lead you in consultation with our team’s orthodontist.