Diagnosis and correction of breathing problems, finger habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrust in kids can be treated early on through orthopedic functional appliances that expand and reposition jaws in order to prevent jaw malformations and malocclusion of misaligned teeth.
Have you had braces and the orthodontist chose to refer you to have your general dentist extract upper and lower premolars? Have you heard your kid snore? Is he being hyperactive during school hours? Have you had the adenoids and tonsils removed? Does your daughter complain of jaw pain or even chronic headaches especially in the morning? Does your jaw feel tired upon waking up? Does your smile look narrow and v-shaped? Are your front teeth crooked and crowded?
If you answered yes or maybe to questions above, it is very likely that your maxilla or mandible did not develop to the fullest physiological size/position and therefore neither baby teeth nor adult teeth had the room to properly align nor the tongue had the proper room to rest. In turn, the shape of esthetic profile is affected due to jaw protrusion or retractions, teeth angulation plus the soft tissue thickness would in turn add to the shape of the unpleasing profile.
A pleasing smile is so much more than just teeth. It’s unfortunate that most dentist and even orthodontist are not really treating the cause of smile misalignment, teeth crowding, narrow looking upper arches. Instead, the patient is evaluated after all the baby teeth have fallen out and the adult dentition has fully erupted. 70% of malocclusions are found early in kids ages 6-10 and yet no one is doing much to prevent further traffic jam of teeth and malformation of bone patterns in condyle in the TMJ articulation and maxilla/mandible. Parents are mostly being told to wait until the kids hit puberty to wait for all adult teeth to erupt but guess what, the skeleton has also matured much more at 14 than if you would have started early treatment around 7-8 years old.
Most teeth crowding is due to insufficient growth of the maxilla and/ or mandible to its fullest genetic development. By diagnosing early on, as a general dentist one can detect early signs of breathing problems or thumb habit such as in an anterior open bite. Large adenoids/tonsils and/or turbinates lead to mouth breathing at night because the nasal cavity/aiway is blocked. This in turn prevents the hard palate from forming properly and dropping further away from nasal cavity, not allowing broadening of the arch and consequently less room for the tongue. When breathing issues happen, patients often develop a v-shaped maxilla without enough surface area on the jaw bone to house baby teeth and therefore also the lower jaw which closely follows the alignment of upper teeth lead down a crooked constricted path. Often times their tongue pushes forward on upper teeth trying to unblock airway as the jaw collapses backwards during sleep, causing further buck teeth because of displaced tongue pressure.
80% of malocclusions such as overbite, underbite, crossbite, narrow upper arch, forward mandible or too forward of a maxilla can be corrected early on during primary or mixed dentition before full adult teeth eruption happens. If kids start being treated early enough, we can correct the maxillae that aren’t reaching full genetic expansion, place functional appliances that would re-position the jaws to where physiologically can relieve any symptoms the patient presented with.
the confidence these kids experience is the best payment any human being can get. Their eyes truly light up when they feel better looking and can freely smile.
questions? ask away!!!