Orthodontics involve more than simply straightening teeth. Much more can be achieved for your child's oral health including proper alignment of jaws, skeletal harmony, function and facial cosmetics. Correct misaligned teeth, jaws and a poor bite to avoid following symptoms:
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Difficulty chewing and aligning teeth
- Jaw pain/facial muscle pain
- Permanent teeth erupting ectopically (out of their normal position)
- Cheek biting/biting roof of mouth
- Speech difficulties
- Breathing (airway) problems (which can conversely lead to orthodontic problems)
Prevent orthodontic problems with early treatment or Interceptive Orthodontics. Let's face it, braces and orthodontic treatment is expensive! Recognize and correct issues early, before or during permanent teeth eruption, and prevent them from becoming larger and more expensive issues later.
Read through some common examples of Interceptive Orthodontic treatment:
Space Maintenance - the premature loss of your child's baby (deciduous) tooth/teeth may require a space maintainer appliance to hold the space open for the permanent (succedaneous) tooth/teeth that is developing in your child's jaw. This prevents teeth behind the space from drifting forward.
Lower Lingual Arch for loss of more than 1
tooth on the lower jaw (mandible).
Nance Appliance for loss of more than 1
tooth on the upper jaw (maxilla).
Band and Loop Space Maintainer for
loss of one tooth (upper or lower jaw)
(arrows point to erupting permanent tooth)
Crossbites - are a form of dental/jaw misalignment. Normally, upper teeth sit "in front" of the lower teeth when biting together. In a crossbite situation, your child's lower teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth when biting. This can occur in the back teeth region as well as the anterior teeth region. Easily correct crossbite early with a simple fixed appliance when your child is young and permanent teeth have not yet erupted. Your child's permanent teeth are guided into place by the baby teeth, making it important to fix problems early to avoid serious adult jaw and dental disharmony.
Examples (just a few):
Hyrax (Rapid Palatal Expander) with palatal
expansion screw cemented in place.
Quad Helix with lingual expansion arms.
Upper Schwarz expansion appliance with finger spring.
Open Bites - usually occur in the front teeth and are an orthopedic condition where your child's teeth do not overlap when biting. Normally the upper font teeth overlap the lower front teeth by 1 to 3 mm when biting teeth together. Open bites give the appearance that your child's mouth is never really closed and can lead to speech problems, eating issues and potentially jaw/temporal mandibular joint pain. In addition to genetic factors, your child's oral habits such as tongue thrusting, lisping, thumb sucking and lip sucking can lead to open bites. Prevent an open bite by correcting these habits early through simple appliances.
Blue Grass Appliance is used to correct finger
and thumb sucking habits.
Tongue Fence Appliance used to control tongue thrusting
or to prevent thumb sucking.
Early Extraction - in some instances, removing baby teeth early can allow your child's permanent teeth to align better. In addition, removing baby teeth early can prevent permanent teeth from erupting into spaces reserved for other teeth, as seen in ectopic eruptions where the path of an erupting permanent tooth has veered off-course (often due to crowding).
Distalization of Ectopically Erupting Molars - sometimes (particularly in the upper jaw) your child's permanent first molar erupts into and resorbs the root of the adjacent baby molar. Utilize an Elastic Halterman Appliance to regain space in your child's mouth and upright the molar so that it can erupt into proper place.
Halterman appliance to upright a permanent molar caught under the edge of the adjacent baby molar.
Functional Jaw Orthopedics/Arch Development - when your child has a significant disharmony of the upper and lower jaws, removable orthopedic appliances help align the jaws properly. Correct undeveloped jaws with arch development appliances
Sagittal Appliance for developing the pre-maxilla (anterior segment).
Orthopedic Corrector for aligning dental arches in mixed dentition.
Twin Block Appliance for aligning the dental arches in permanent dentition.
Orthodontic Referral - certain orthodontic problems require more complex and comprehensive treatment and need to be referred to an orthodontic specialist. Trust that Dr. Hsu promises to recognize your child's orthodontic needs early and refer your child to a specialist if appropriate.