San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Every day parents share their concerns with dentists about their child’s oral health. When a parent speaks to the dentist about protruding, crowded, or gapped teeth, they expect a professional answer about addressing the situation. Unfortunately, not all dentists believe that a child is old enough to handle orthodontic care. Furthermore, early orthodontics doesn’t always involve standard braces. Early orthodontic care is a preventative measure to reduce future complications when permanent teeth arrive, and address jaw growth development. At Glen Park Dental, your family-friendly dentists in San Francisco, we understand that untreated conditions can significantly worsen over time. Therefore, we share how kids can benefit from early orthodontic intervention, so your child can have a beautiful smile throughout their childhood that lasts through adulthood.
Why should I treat my child so early?
Treating your child too early may seem redundant since most of the growth process occurs during the adolescent years. According to a Burlington Growth Study in Toronto, Canada, 75% of children who are 12 years of age suffer from some form of malocclusion. Since 90% of a child’s face develops by the age of 12, treatment can help guide the growth process to modify the shape and address malocclusion and other potential complications. Early treatment also helps prevent orthodontic relapse, and corrects your child’s jaw growth pattern during development, which is a much easier process than waiting to move teeth with traditional braces later on. Marin’s extensively trained dentists recommend treatment to begin between the ages of 6 and 7 for the best results. Our philosophy is a functional-orthopedic process comprised of a two-phase treatment process as outlined below.
Phase 1: Mixed Dentition (Orthopedic Phase)
Multiple conditions must receive correction during the orthopedic phase to continue to phase two. Children who suffer from snoring, anterior and lateral tongue thrusts, thumb sucking, airway complications, jaw joint conditions (TMJ), and mouth breathing require correction using a functional oral appliance. The professional Oakland children’s dentists at Glen Park Dental warn parents that without treatment, skeletal problems that cause constricted mandibular arches or maxillary, or prognathic or retrognathic mandibles may increase. This means the child may develop a severe under or overbite, as well as a crossbite, and the upper teeth may protrude or not come together when the jaw is closed. Therefore, the need for immediate treatment with Crozat & ALF Appliances or a ControlledArch® Treatment System early in the child’s development can aid in a healthier life.
Phase 2: Permanent Dentition (Orthodontic Phase)
Permanent dentition treatment takes the initial phase another step further. During the orthodontic phase, most dental problems receive treatment using wire appliances commonly known as traditional braces. With early treatment, most malocclusions are correctible without surgery or needing to extract permanent teeth. Our Oakland dentists most often follow the parent’s favor for treatment during the growth process using oral appliances instead of delaying until the arrival of permanent teeth. Functional devices that reposition the jaw treat adolescents effectively within seven to 12 months and do not require surgical procedures.
What are the benefits of early treatment?
Deciding in favor of early intervention to prevent future complications can provide multiple oral benefits for your child. The main advantage is the positive adjustments created through the influence of jaw growth and development. Alterations can shorten and simplify treatment time resulting in fewer treatments and a reduced dental bill in the future. The San Francisco dentists near you share below additional benefits other than time and expense savings.
- Correct the width of dental arches
- Improvement of eruption patterns
- Improve various speech challenges
- Reduce the risk of trauma to protruded upper incisors
- Aesthetic enhancements that can increase self-esteem
- Improve airway problems that affect proper breathing
- Correct harmful oral habits like thumb sucking, for example
- Maintain or create space for the arrival of permanent teeth
- Reduce the risk of permanent impacted teeth leading to extractions
Facial Growth Guidance in Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California
The early intervention in your child’s oral health care is essential to prevent common complications that may arise later in life, possibly resulting in added procedures and expenses. To find out more about functional oral appliances in children’s orthodontics or to ask questions, feel free to call Glen Park Dental at (415) 585-1500. We can assess your child’s oral health and determine the best course of treatment. If you wonder if your child could benefit from orthodontics, we invite you to request a consultation at the number above or through our website today.