What Sets Our Orthodontic Care Apart
What Sets Our Orthodontic Care Apart
Our special training in pediatric orthodontics, combined with early childhood and adolescent development, make us especially suited to care for your child. We combine our medical expertise with an ability to inspire confidence that helps kids feel optimistic about their treatment.
We coordinate orthodontic care visits with preventive maintenance and general dental care. This saves you visits and lets us remove orthodontic wires for thorough cleaning and examination.
Dr. Louis and Dr. Steve are eager to answer any of your questions concerning this exciting treatment.
Orthodontics is the science of applying controlled physiologic forces to create balance of the teeth, jaw, and skull. That balance allows for proper function, which promotes optimal health, and as a by-product, enhanced esthetics.
We have three goals for all of our orthodontic patients:
Well Balanced, Esthetic Faces
Each child is a product of two gene pools; mom and dad. The genetic characteristics expressed can be any combination of small teeth, large teeth, narrow palate, wide palate, retruded lower jaw, protruded “Jay Leno” jaw, and so on. For example, tooth bulk greater than jaw length results in crowded, crooked teeth. Tooth bulk less than jaw length results in spaces between teeth.
Creating the proper structural balance for each individual child allows for proper function. You chew better, you talk better, the teeth last longer (because the biting forces are on the long axis of the teeth) and yes, you look better too. We don’t dictate how your child should look. We just achieve the balance and the esthetics follow naturally from there.
Healthy Jaw Joints
If the lower jaw is retruded into the base of the skull it can lead to headaches, neck aches, backaches, earaches, and so on. This condition is called Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction, commonly known as TMJ. In our orthodontic treatment we give the lower jaw freedom of movement and freedom of growth and thus predispose to health of the jaw joint. If a child has TMJ symptoms already we can orthodontically reposture the lower jaw to help alleviate those symptoms.
Long Term Beautiful Smile
Many factors contribute to a beautiful smile. By guiding the teeth into a balanced functional occlusion we help assure that beautiful smile can last a lifetime. We cannot however, overcome inevitable forces of aging. Natural aging brings changes to our body, including our oral facial complex. This is why long term retention is needed to ensure that your child’s smile will be a gift that keeps on giving. Following active orthodontic movement, customized retainers will be provided to complete the treatment.
Timing of Treatment
Many people view “braces” from a 1960’s perspective when treatment was started around age 13 following the routine removal of permanent teeth. Over the last 45 years however, pediatric orthodontics has progressed and evolved towards the medical model; where any growth concern is intercepted and corrected early before the maturing bone and connective tissue has been “locked in”.
Many problems can be addressed in the primary dentition (all baby teeth) by helping the child stop potentially harmful oral habits at an age appropriate time. If habits such as aggressive pacifier use or thumb or finger sucking have caused malocclusion (imbalance of the teeth and jaws) we correct the imbalance to restore the child’s normal and healthy growth pattern.
Interceptive orthodontics now can help avoid a major investment later. Gently guiding a young child’s facial growth and dental development will achieve a more balanced face, healthier jaw joints and a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime!
In the past orthodontic treatment was often postponed until after eruption of all the permanent teeth. We now know that many orthodontic problems are better treated earlier in childhood by utilizing the growth that takes place in younger children.
Early orthodontics uses children’s natural growth potential to develop room for crowded teeth, full wide smiles and well balanced, esthetic faces. As pediatric dental growth and development specialists, we have used early orthodontics to treat 7, 8, 9 year olds for almost three decades with excellent long-term results.
If you have a child between the ages of 6 and 10 years old, ask yourself these questions to see if early orthodontic care may benefit your child:
- Are permanent teeth too big for the space available and/or are they crowded or overlapping?
- Is there noticeable under-bite or over-bite?
- Is there excessive spacing or protruding of the front teeth?
- Does the jaw shift to the side when closing or is the smile crooked?
- Is the lower jaw receded or is it too far forward?
- Does your child avoid smiling or is he/she excessively self-conscious about his/her teeth?
- Does your child have difficulty chewing food?
Phase I Treatment
Phase 1 Treatment
Early orthodontics gently creates room for crowded teeth by reshaping and developing the bony dental arch from a V shape to a more natural U shape. Because a young child’s facial bones are much more “plastic” than that of an adolescent’s, active treatment most often is completed in 12 months or less. Braces are followed by an easy-to-wear nighttime retainer that actually guides the remaining permanent teeth into their proper place. Early orthodontics can truly create full wide smiles that can last a lifetime.
Phase 2 Treatment
In some cases, a second phase of treatment is required if the remaining permanent teeth erupt in an unsatisfactory position. This can occur due to lack of retainer wear, unusual growth patterns, or genetically controlled tooth eruption patterns. Early treatment always makes this second phase of treatment easier and usually shorter in duration than the typical full treatment started later in development. Also if a second phase is needed we give you a dollar for dollar credit for the entire early orthodontic treatment.
Full Orthodontics is begun when all of the permanent teeth have erupted or are about to erupt. Our goal remains the same…to obtain a well-balanced esthetic face, healthy jaw joints and a beautiful healthy smile.
Click below to learn more about the different types of orthodontic treatments we offer.