Many people believe that the word “orthodontics” is synonymous with “braces.” However, there is much more we can do to help achieve a beautiful, comfortable bite and smile. We can use dentofacial orthopedics therapy to correct abnormalities and head off potential larger orthodontic issues. Let’s talk about this type of therapy and how it can help your child avoid larger issues down the road.
What Is Dentofacial Orthopedics?
Dentofacial orthopedics is a type of therapy that focuses on normalizing the bone structure of a patient’s face and jaw. This process is started when the patient is still a child, often before any other orthodontic treatment has begun. However, it can still be performed during later stages of treatment.
Dentofacial orthopedic therapy usually focuses on correcting potential bite and spacial problems by guiding the growth and development of the jaw. We do this by using orthodontic appliances such as mouthguards, space maintainers, retainers, expanders, and other devices.
This process is important because it helps to ensure the success of later orthodontic treatment. In some cases, it can even prevent the need for braces down the road! For instance, if a child’s spacing issues can be resolved while their jaw is still developing and their permanent teeth are still coming in, it may prevent teeth from becoming crowded and needing braces to straighten them. Even if it doesn’t prevent crowding completely, it will certainly help the later orthodontic treatment to work faster and more efficiently.
How Can Preventive Orthodontics Help My Child?
We recommend that your child is evaluated for orthodontic treatment for the first time at around age 8. During this time, your child’s bone structure is still developing. While there are ways to change how the jaw is positioned after it has finished developing, it is much harder and more costly than if the initial growth is guided. During development, it is relatively easy to correct abnormalities that may cause orthodontic issues later.
Some of the conditions requiring early treatment are poor bite, protruding front teeth, or too little space for the teeth to come in regularly. We can (and prefer to) do this therapy work as Phase I orthodontic treatment. Waiting until Phase II (the stage where braces are typically employed) can make the situation more severe and difficult to resolve. If orthopedic specialists are able to see your child for an orthodontic evaluation while their bone structure is still developing, we may be able to save both you and your child considerable time, hassle, and discomfort later down the road.
Help your child get a head start on their orthodontic care. Dento facial orthopedic surgery and therapy may be able to make future orthodontic treatment easier and more effective. If you are ready to schedule an appointment, please contact our office as soon as possible. We can be reached by phone or via our online form. We will be happy to help you find a time that works for your schedule. Let us help your child get the orthodontic care he or she deserves.
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