Orthodontic Treatment for Children
It is advised for children the age of seven to receive a screening from an orthodontist, because the best time to start orthodontic treatment is while a child is still growing. Early orthodontic treatment involves growth modification, which is a type of treatment that is performed in order to correct jaw discrepancies and crowding of the teeth. Growth modification is performed during the first phase of the two-stage orthodontic treatment.
Why is growth modification recommended for children?
At the age of seven, the adult molars start to grow and hence create a back-bite. It is at this stage that it will allow an orthodontist to evaluate the front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationship. This will help them determine whether there would be enough space for the development of adult teeth.
Growth modification is commenced for patients whose bones are currently in their growing stage. It is at the young age that the therapy is proven to be most effective.
Growth modification therapy’s primary focus is to:
- Provide a solution for over-crowding of teeth.
- Prevent narrowing and underdevelopment of upper or lower jaws.
- Avoid cases of large over-bite.
What are the advantages of early treatment?
We encourage our patients to undergo growth modification therapy at the early stage of their lives, as it can go a long way from preventing a wide range of dental disorders.
Here are some of the advantages of early treatment:
- Provides space for crowded teeth and adult teeth.
- Reduces the chance of having protruded front teeth.
- Prevents the risk of tooth removal.
- Prevents the need to wear braces in the future.
How does growth modification work?
Growth modification treatment involves the usage of appliances that will help prevent jaw discrepancies such as unbalanced growth between upper and lower jaws, and spacing between teeth.
Here are some of the appliances used during the therapy:
The Twin Block dental appliance’s prior intention is to rectify the development of the jaw bone. It is used in cases when the upper jaw outgrows the lower jaw. It is a removable appliance and requires the patient to be careful while wearing it. It consists of upper and lower retainers that fit together to promote the growth of the lower jaw. The Twin Block has to be worn full-time during the treatment period.
Mandibular Anterior Repositioning Appliance
This appliance is also used for patients who have an unusual upper jaw growth. It is meant to be worn full-time during the period of treatment. This appliance is bonded onto the upper and lower molars of the jaw. It can be used along with braces to reduce the period of treatment.
It is advised for children who are nearing their pubertal age.
The Head Gear can be worn indoors and even during bedtime. The appliance’s functional role is to rectify jaw misplacement. It will gradually suppress the forward growth of the upper jaw. It is generally used by patients who nearing the age of 12.