Orthodontics spans beyond corrective treatment. It also includes preventive care which can prevent the development of a bad bite, crooked and overcrowded teeth. This is called Phase I treatment or Interceptive or Early treatment. This is a limited treatment (while baby teeth are still present) to correct a developmental issue before it worsens. Some children who undergo preventive treatment MAY avoid the need for far more aggressive or even no treatments later in life. During Phase I treatment we observe the growth of the mouth until all the adult teeth have erupted which occurs at 11 or 12 years old. Dr. Miskin will then make an evaluation for the necessity of Phase II treatment to complete the process.
Preventive care is only effective when done early – usually while the majority of primary teeth are still intact. Some of these preventive orthodontic treatments include:
- Space maintainers – to hold the space of a primary tooth that has fallen out prematurely
- Tooth extractions – used to remove baby teeth so that the permanent teeth will have room to erupt
- Placement of some brackets to correct the position of teeth that are erupting in an unfavorable position
At age 6 or 7 your child may need preventive care if he or she has a malocclusion, inadequate jaw space, teeth erupting in the wrong spaces, missing primary teeth lost because of decay or trauma. If you suspect that your child may need preventive orthodontic, schedule a consultation with Miskin Dental.
In addition to ensuring that your child’s appliance is being worn correctly and your child is not consuming foods that could damage the appliance while being worn, a monthly checkup appointment is needed. If your child’s appliance is removable, it needs to be cleaned regularly and stored in the storage case when not wearing.
Most patients undergoing orthodontic treatment are children and teens. When kids are young, their jaws are constantly growing to accommodate new teeth which makes treatment time shorter. Some of the orthodontic appliances commonly used in children’s orthodontic treatment are spacers, retainers and braces.
Some early signs that a child may one day require orthodontic treatment are:
- Jaw is disproportionate to the face
- Frequent thumb sucking
- Chronically breathes from the mouth rather than the nose
- Baby teeth fall out too soon or too late
- Exhibits malocclusion (overbite/underbite)
- Visible crowding
So, if your child is at least 6 or 7 years old or has any of the symptoms listed above, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible so that Dr. Miskin can identify any jaw irregularities and developmental complications that would indicate the need for future orthodontics.
Dr. Miskin can take steps to correct a bad bite, make room for crowded teeth, fill in gaps, and straighten the teeth before the malocclusion becomes a more difficult issue.
On your child’s first orthodontic screening we will do a visual examination as well as x-rays and also ask if your child has habits, such as thumb and finger-sucking. Dr. Miskin will then discuss options and a time frame for treatment.
Once your child has a fixed orthodontic appliance installed, such as braces, you will need to follow careful instructions to ensure the device does not gets damaged or broken. We will go over cleaning and eating instructions as a damaged appliance can hurt the movement of teeth. We will also go over the cleaning, wearing and adjusting of the appliance and give you a no–no list of what to eat and not eat.
Everyone deserves a smile which they can be proud of. But for adults who did not have the privilege of having their teeth straightened as a child, orthodontics is still an option. You are never too old for orthodontic treatment. More and more adults want straighter teeth because they realize the long-term oral health benefits associated with having straighter teeth. Adult braces are often used in conjunction with other necessary dental work to provide the best possible result.
If your teeth are crooked, crowded, overlapping, or have gaps between them find out more about your treatment options by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Miskin who will map out a treatment plan designed to give you the straightest teeth possible in the least amount of time.
For more information on orthodontics please check out the educational videos below, thank you.
Adult orthodontics - http://youtu.be/VmTCbqhuS7I
Clear Tooth Aligners - http://youtu.be/PgBhgRNPOzU
How Teeth Move With Braces - http://youtu.be/5cABYCQNVnE
Orthodontic Diagnosis - http://youtu.be/M81DjBtdoTw
Orthodontic overview - http://youtu.be/FmLgUlu5QZY
Brushing with Braces - http://youtu.be/D4AUO60H87I
Flossing with Braces - http://youtu.be/uI8VzWpiDqA