Many people associate orthodontic treatment with teenagers. Pimples, angst and metal braces are probably some of the stereotypical things which spring to your mind when you think about those adolescent years. But did you know there can be massive benefits to examining whether your child needs orthodontic intervention well before they are a teenager? Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of early intervention orthodontics.
There are many different opinions as to when the correct time is for a child to first see an orthodontist, but about seven is a common suggestion. Often your family dentist will identify some irregularities, spurring them to recommend orthodontic treatment, but there are plenty of other tell-tale signs you might notice at home. These include things such as finger or thumb sucking, uneven teeth, crowded teeth, and teeth or jaws which seem to be out of proportion with the rest of your child’s facial features.
When your child is young, they are still growing and developing, and their skeletal structure is still malleable. That’s why thumb or finger sucking can cause buck teeth in young children. During this time, it’s possible to modify your child’s jaw development, and this can work to avoid the need for surgery or tooth extraction later in life. It can also mean that the orthodontic treatment your child requires later in life may be significantly reduced.
Dr Kamini Titus from the Dental Specialists Turramurra has extensive experience in the use of two-phase orthodontic treatment to help mould the development of your child’s teeth and jaw.
The first phase of treatment aims to manipulate the formation of your child’s jaw so as to allow room for all of your child’s teeth, and ensure the jaws fit together properly so you child is able to chew, and then digest their food properly. This first phase of treatment will generally involve the use of a plate-style appliance to help mould their developing jaw towards its ideal shape, followed by a resting period as the child’s adult teeth erupt. This will all be carefully monitored by Dr Titus.
The second phase of treatment then addresses the position of the teeth; ensuring they are aligned correctly to give facial harmony as well as a bite which functions as it should. This will generally involve the use of braces on both arches. Find out more about two-phase orthodontic treatment here.
While we all want a beautiful smile, this should not be the primary motivation for seeking orthodontic treatment. There are actually numerous functional and health concerns which arise from misaligned teeth. Our mouth and teeth play an extremely vital, yet often overlooked role in ensuring healthy digestion and positive overall health. It is well documented that people with healthy teeth live healthier and longer lives.
Correcting a misaligned smile at a young age will encourage the likelihood that your child will have a healthy, beautiful smile for life, as well as cementing a cornerstone for positive overall health.
Dr Kamini Titus has been a practicing orthodontist since 1995, and holds a Master’s degree from the University of Sydney. She is also a member of the Australasian Society of Orthodontists and is the current treasurer of the Australasian Society of Lingual Orthodontists. Dr Titus’ experience and expertise are further enhanced by her passion, and her friendly and relaxed approach.
As a mother herself, Dr Titus is able to understand the trepidation patients of all ages may have at the thought of orthodontic treatment, and is able to connect with them on a level that will put them at ease.
Dr Titus believes in doing things the right way the first time; she will never recommend a treatment which she does not feel is 100% in the patient’s best interests for optimum results.
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