Welcome back to Hartwell Dentistry’s blog. In this months blog we will be discussing early orthodontic intervention and whether this is the right choice for your child.
Many parents are posed with the question when they should start their child’s orthodontic treatment.
Do I treat early and reduce the risk that my child requires braces?
Or do I wait until they have fully grown and have braces anyway?
This question often divides the community however if the goal of early intervention is understood, it is easy to see why Interceptive orthodontics would be in the child’s best interest.
Interceptive orthodontics; or more commonly known as early orthodontic treatment, aims to reduce the risk of children requiring braces in the future by ‘intervening’ early. This type of treatment usually starts whilst the child is undergoing a period of growth and development to the craniofacial complex, or the skull. It main philosophy is to utilize the child’s growth potential via some form of expansion to maximize their development. Since crowding essentially means narrow arches, an increasing arch dimension is always necessary.
The development and growth of the skull undergoes its greatest changes within the first 5 years of life. That is why malocclusion or crowding can be identified as early as 6 years old. Too often, when parents wait until all the adult teeth have erupted through before orthodontic treatment, the peak of growth of the upper and lower jaws have already passed and a lot of children would have missed the growth opportunity. After a certain age, to help crowding, extraction is often required to create space or even surgery to align the jaws.
Another benefits for early intervention is the correction of poor functional habits such as thumb and dummy sucking and even mouth-breathing. By utilizing early intervention, these habits can be corrected.
Early correction can also help with other issues like sinus development and speech correction.
Interceptive orthodontic would not guarantee that extractions nor braces are not required. However, what it does guarantee is that, if braces are needed, it would make the placement of braces in the future, a lot easier, the duration to be a lot shorter and the results would be a lot more stable.
Interceptive orthodontics is an area of orthodontic, which not only looks at aesthetics and cosmetics but also functional aspect. It is an area of orthodontic that looks at utilizing the child’s own growth potential to maximize the amount of growth and development one can achieve.
Here at Hartwell Dentistry we have an interceptive orthodontics specialist, Dr Gavin Yang. If you have any questions regarding interceptive orthodontics please contact our practice and ask on of our friendly staff members.
Stay Tuned for our next blog, we have a series of blogs coming up where we will be discussing the different types of oral hygiene products and which is best for you.