Early Prevention Orthodontics Eliminates Future Breathing Problems
At Sharp Smile Center, we offer early prevention orthodontics at our Portage, MI, dental practice. While traditional orthodontics can help to treat a smile that has been compromised by crooked, crowded, or misaligned teeth, our early prevention methods treat not just the teeth, but also the shape and position of the mouth and jaw.
We utilize mouthpiece appliances to help treat young children and adolescents who lack space in the mouth to properly accommodate their teeth. A crowded mouth may cause airway interference, affecting your child's breathing, or result in other more complex mouth and jaw issues in the future.
How Does the Jaw Impact My Child’s Health?
We can diagnose and treat a jaw that is improperly developing as early as age five. It is best to have your child treated early, prior to the development of adult teeth. If the jaw goes untreated, the mouth may not have sufficient room for the teeth.
In this case, patients may begin to experience a crossbite, crowding, and improper positioning of the tongue that results in breathing problems. Crowding can ultimately lead to tooth loss, an increased risk of periodontal disease, and speech impediments.
We believe that treating the issue before it becomes severe is the best solution. Unfortunately, if a jaw begins to develop improperly, it will only worsen over time, causing health issues that could potentially last a lifetime. With that in mind, we offer a customized, yet minimally invasive approach.
Our timely treatments can help prevent costs that may accompany major jaw reconstruction and years of future traditional orthodontic treatment.
Our functional mouthpiece appliances are custom-made in a specialty lab to match the contours of each patient’s mouth. Over a period of time, the appliance will slowly widen the jaw.
Depending on the preference of the patient's parent or guardian, the mouthpiece can be either inserted permanently for the duration of treatment, or be made removable. In either case, and for optimal results, it is recommended that the patient wears the appliance full-time.
Candidacy and Treatment Timeline
During a consultation at our office, we will closely examine the child’s mouth, looking for any signs that early intervention is recommended, such as an undeveloped jaw. Typically, we will closely examine the teeth in the front of the mouth to identify any early crossbite that may be developing.
If we can diagnose and treat the young patient early on in their jawbone development, we can help widen the jaw, creating adequate space in the mouth. While every case varies depending upon severity, age, and other factors, we typically see desired results in about six months.
Following their initial treatment, most patients will wear a retainer for approximately another six months.
Seek Preventive Care Today
If your child has an undeveloped jaw and you are concerned about his or her oral health, please contact our office today. During your consultation, we can discuss how treatment can dramatically improve your child’s health and well-being, in addition to helping prevent the cost that may accompany major jaw reconstruction and years of future traditional orthodontic treatments.