Getting childhood orthodontic treatment can be a huge benefit to your child’s health. It can be one of the best things you can do for them because it can prevent expensive and painful problems from developing in the future or greatly reduce their severity.
While your child should be visiting the dentist from the time their first tooth appears, a visit to the orthodontist should wait until your child is around the age of 7. This is because this is the age when teeth are starting to fully erupt, so it’s a good time to identify any possible problems regarding alignment, eruption, or position. There are numerous treatment options available for dealing with childhood orthodontic issues at Straight Orthodontics.
What Are Some Common Childhood Orthodontic Problems?
Some of the most common childhood orthodontic problems include an overbite, an underbite, an open bite, and a crossbite. Taking care of these issues early will help prevent them from worsening and will ensure that the teeth and jaw develop correctly.
An overbite is when the upper front teeth are too far forward compared to the lower front teeth. This can cause uneven wear, pain, and chewing problems. It can also make the front teeth more susceptible to injury.
An open bite is when the lower front teeth are completely covered by the upper front teeth. This is a common orthodontic problem for children with finger-sucking habits. The open bite can be corrected with an appliance known as a “crib” that trains the tongue to properly swallow.
Correcting Harmful Habits
Childhood orthodontic treatment can address some harmful habits. Some of the bad habits that affect the teeth and jaw are chewing on hard objects, lip sucking, and thumb sucking. These habits can result in dental problems such as tooth decay, misalignments, and speech disorders. In some cases, these oral habits are serious and may require the attention of an orthodontist.
Oral appliances can help with these habits. They can expand the arch of the jaw and make room for the tongue to elongate. These devices can also eliminate snoring, which is caused by the abnormal breathing pattern of mouth breathing. Oral appliances can also discourage thumb-sucking.
Palate Expansion Devices
Using palate expansion devices for early childhood orthodontic treatment is a simple procedure that can improve the health of a child’s mouth. A palate expander is a dental device that widens the upper jaw and increases the size of the palate. This helps the upper teeth fit together properly. These devices can be used to treat several dental problems, such as crowding, overlapping teeth, and a small palate. They can also help prevent a crossbite. They can improve a child’s smile and help with facial development. It is a good way to avoid impacted teeth, overcrowded teeth, and other oral health problems.
Typically, patients use palatal expanders for three to six months. They are inserted in the back of the mouth. They can be either fixed or removable. Removable devices make it easy to clean them.
Depending on the type of device, a palatal expander may need to be adjusted daily. Some kids experience slight discomfort when a palate expander is adjusted.
A space maintainer is a small metal or plastic appliance that is placed on a tooth or teeth. It is designed to help keep the tooth in the right position until the permanent one erupts. The device may be removable or fixed.
During early childhood orthodontic treatment, space maintainers can make a big difference in the overall outcome. Not only can they prevent the need for complex orthodontic treatment, but they can also ensure that the child has a healthy set of teeth. Space maintainers are a great way to help prevent overcrowding. Overcrowding can create problems later on, including crooked teeth, dental disease, and even mouth pain.
How Can We Help?
At Straight Orthodontics, we provide orthodontic treatment to rectify childhood orthodontic issues, preventing them from becoming major problems as your child grows up. We supply multiple dental hardware devices such as those mentioned in this blog, in addition to providing guidance and education around reducing harmful habits and ensuring excellent oral hygiene.
To learn more about childhood orthodontic treatments, please have a look here.
To schedule an appointment, please call 03 9598 8000 or use our online contact form here.