Early intervention with orthodontics

Crooked teeth in adults and children may be because of the jaws being too small. Imagine taking a room in your house where all of the walls were neatly lined with chairs and small sofas that were touching. If you were to change the square footage of the room, making it smaller, all of the furniture would be bunched up and crooked instead of straight.

It is the same situation with jaws and teeth. If there is no room for the teeth, they will be bunched up and crooked. There are a variety of reasons why jaws don't develop correctly, but the current thought is improper breathing, diet and pollution as a child grows and develops.

If a child only breathes through their mouth, their tongue lays low so air can come through. This is not good because the tongue is needed to form the roof of the mouth and make it a U-shape instead of a V-shape. The tongue pushing on it from the inside during normal swallowing develops the U-shape of the upper jaw.

With today's dental technology, bone can actually be moved, expanded, and grown in a way that places the jaws into the right position with the correct size. Part of the key to success is the age of the person who needs the procedure.

Consider this - if you wanted to have a unique bend or curvature of a tree in your backyard, you would need to start when the tree was a sapling. The same holds true for people. Starting young results in much easier, and almost always better, treatment outcomes.

My son is 8, and he fits this category. Not enough room to fit all his teeth in properly. He, like most kids his age; think braces and “retainers” are cool. He was all excited when I told him I would be fitting him with an expansion “retainer”.

Expansion appliances fit in the roof of the mouth and sometimes on the lower jaw as well. Once they are in place, there is a screw that can be turned which puts more pressure on the bone, and the bone actually moves.

Kids are tough and adaptable. After the first week my son will be totally used to it. He will know how to eat, talk, and keep everything clean.

I feel great about it because I know this will help put everything in its right place and that he will develop the right jaw-to-jaw relationship for the rest of his life.

Here is another reason early intervention is important and downright essential. Symmetry is beauty. The jaws and teeth make up one-third of the face, and if they don't develop correctly, the face will not be symmetrical.

Getting an evaluation for your child earlier can lead to minimal treatment. Many do not have crooked teeth, they just have limited room. We all like big, beautiful smiles - especially at an early age.

More Straight Talk on Teeth articles

About the Author

Dr. Mark Provencher is a general dentist having graduated with distinction from the University of Alberta in 1997. He is active in numerous professional organizations and is a perpetual student that prefers a proactive, holistic, "why-based" approach to care. He has hundreds of hours of extra training in the areas of neuromuscular dentistry, sleep dentistry/sleep apnea, cosmetic and complex restorative dentistry. He practices in the Pandosy Village area and lives in Kelowna with his beautiful wife and two young children.

Contact Dr. Provencher at [email protected]

Website:  http://www.kelownadentalsolutions.com/


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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