Early Orthodontic and Facial Growth Evaluation and Management
Orthodontic problems or malocclusions are either inherited or acquired. Inherited orthodontic problems include crowding of teeth, gaps between the teeth, missing or extra teeth, and irregularities in the shape or alignment of the jaws, teeth and face. Acquired orthodontic problems may be caused by trauma as a result of accidents, chronic pacifier or thumb sucking, obstruction in the airway caused by tonsils and adenoids, premature loss of baby or permanent teeth, and dental disease.
How Can These Problems Affect Facial Development?
These problems not only affect teeth alignment but also facial development and appearance. It is important to determine the existence of these problems early so that they can be corrected. Corrective appliances such as braces may be used to properly align the teeth, lips and jaws. When left untreated, orthodontic or malocclusion problems may get worse and may require more extensive and expensive treatments in later years.
While malocclusion may be inherited, children’s habits such as tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, incorrect swallowing, and mouth breathing may also negatively impact the development of the jaw and cause crooked and misaligned teeth.
Premature loss of baby teeth may cause crowded teeth later on. Jaw fracture as a result of accidents can also cause misalignment of the teeth.
At What Age Should Children Have an Orthodontic Evaluation?
These problems should be evaluated and treated while the child is still growing (preferably between the age of 4 and 10, before the child is required to wear braces). Early detection and treatment of these problems can spare the child from braces and extraction later on.
Using Braces to Correct Misaligned Teeth
Metal or wire braces are usually used to correct crooked, misaligned teeth. Those who think these are too cumbersome may opt for invisible and removable aligners called Invisalign. This procedure involves the use of 3-D imaging technology to track the correction done from the initial treatment up until the final position of the teeth is achieved.
For more information, please speak to our friendly dental team on (07) 4191 4787 or visit us at 8/6-8 Liuzzi St, Pialba Hervey Bay QLD 4655.