“Why Early Orthodontic Treatment”
Orthodontics is more than just straightening teeth. There are generally four biological systems that are involved in the orthodontic correction.
The first system involves nasal breathing. The face and jaws can grow unfavorably in a child who routinely breathes through his mouth. If such a condition is recognized and treated early, growth can proceed favorably. The proper use of orthodontic x-rays can provide initial clues of favorable or unfavorable growth patterns of the face and jaws.
The second system involves the muscles; the muscles of facial expression, the muscles of mastication (chewing), and the muscles of the tongue. All have a significant influence in the development of dental and facial balance.
The third system is skeletal (bony). This system deals with the relationships of the upper and lower jaws to one another, to the teeth, and to the other bones of the head. By properly evaluating orthodontic x-rays, a skeletal problem can be determined.
The fourth system involves the teeth. Usually the muscles of the face and mouth, the growth of the jaws and the patterns of breathing determine the positions of the teeth. Your child may have a large overbite, crowded teeth, spaces between the teeth, or teeth that "just don't look right."
As you see, before a treatment proposal can be formulated for any specific problem, a complete evaluation must be made. If the problem is breathing, muscles or skeletal, corrections can be started during your child's early development years.
An appreciation of the maturation and growth of the developing child enables timely intervention to redirect growth patterns. By the time a child becomes a young teenager, 90% of his growth has been completed, thereby reducing the influence that I, as the orthodontist, may have on the overall quality of the correction.
Even with a diagnosis that indicates that early treatment is best, a sincere commitment on the part of the patient is needed to achieve the desired results. Early treatment, in its basic terms, is helping developing jaw bones to their proper place to reduce the need for extractions, create a more balanced face and improved profile, and a better bite for stability and function. Please help us make others aware of what can be done with early "interceptive" treatment.
Michael R. Duryea Orthodontics
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