Orthodontic care isn’t only about making your teeth straight. It is important to make the teeth straight along with establishing a healthy, proper position of the jaw and its TMJ (Temporal Mandibular Joint) as well as maintaining a healthy, open airway. Early identification and treatment is crucial in a person’s overall long term health. It has been documented that 90% of a child’s craniofacial growth is established by age 12. Many children (70%) will have some sort of malocclusion and these problems begin and can be recognized early in their lives.
All our assessments begin with identifying functional problems first, followed by skeletal problems, and finally dental problems. Functional problems are a key indicator of what may have created the child’s malocclusion. Functional problems include constricted airway (tonsils and adenoids), finger sucking, and habit behavior. It is important these issues be solved first to help treatment be successful otherwise you are faced with potential relapse, worsening of the condition, or maintaining an unhealthy environment. Skeletal problems include but are not limited to how the upper and lower jaw relate to each other, if either jaw is constricted or too small, there are deficiencies or overgrowth in the upper or lower jaw, and in what direction is the growth is occurring. Dental problems would include: are there impaction of teeth, size discrepancies of teeth, alignment problems, or crowding.
The Affects Teeth in Trauma to Your Oral Health
- May cause tooth wear
- May cause tooth sensitivity
- May cause gum recession and indentations at the gum line (abfractions)
- May create difficulties cleaning teeth
- May be linked to periodontal disease
- May lead to unsuccessful tooth restorations
As dentists, we believe it is important to address these concerns early and not wait until cranial growth is almost complete, allowing conditions to worsen, possibly requiring permanent tooth extraction or possible jaw surgery to make the teeth and bone straight. At Optimal Dental we utilize a two phase approach to Orthodontics when necessary. Phase one is a functional orthopedic treatment. Functional Orthopedics utilizes fixed or removable appliances to allow easy and comfortable growth modification to help the child achieve proper jaw dimension and position. This helps provide room for the eruption of permanent teeth, positions the lower jaw in its proper dimension, and helps establish a healthy airway during the growth phase of a child. Phase two treatment is utilizing braces or Invisalign when necessary to correct any further tooth alignment issues after all the permanent teeth have erupted. When we have used phase one functional orthopedic treatment first it is possible that phase two treatment (braces/Invisalign) may not be necessary and if they are, treatment time is typically less than if we didn’t begin treatment until age 12 or later.
We are committed to providing the best treatment for you and your children. We are proud that this includes Orthodontic care at Optimal Dental.
If you wanted to straighten your teeth, but were worried about the appearance and discomfort of conventional metal braces we offer a more convenient and esthetic alternative, Invisalign®!
Invisalign Treatment Provides Many Benefits. As the name implies, Invisalign trays are nearly invisible, allowing you to go throughout your daily activities with most people being unaware that you are undergoing orthodontic treatment! The aligners are custom-made for you, ensuring a perfect, comfortable fit. Additionally, it is easier to keep everything clean, and you do not need to give up any of your favorite foods as the trays are removed when you eat.
As an Invisalign patient, you’ll generally have fewer office visits than those with traditional braces. So if you have a busy schedule but still want to improve your smile, Invisalign might be just the thing for you! Not everyone is a good candidate for Invisalign, but if you are, it may be a great option to achieve your dream smile!