We treat patients as young as four years old using an approach called “functional orthodontics”
Functional orthodontics focuses on changing the still-growing and developing child’s jaw with the use of retainer-like appliances.
There are two objectives to Functional Orthodontics:
to stimulate growth in certain areas of the jaw to allow for space for future teeth that have yet to erupt
to improve the child’s overall jaw position to prevent future jaw problems like Tempomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ, and to make the jaw more aesthetically pleasing and complementary to the proportions of the patient’s face
The Price to Pay for Waiting...
The alternative philosophy to othodontics typically involves waiting until the child is 10 to 13 years of age.
When the patient is older and growth has stopped, one may have no choice but to extract teeth or perform surgery as there is simply no room in the already-formed jaw. Your options then become more limited.
Other Advantages Of Early Treatment
The appliances that children wear, that closely resemble retainers and are often removable, can significantly reduce the amount of time they have to wear traditional wire braces later on as they get older.
Sometimes these appliances can even eliminate the need for braces altogether.
This in turn, can not only save money, but also greatly reduces the patient’s risk of getting cavities or decalcifications (white spots on the teeth) which children who wear wire braces for longs periods of time are at risk of if they do not practice excellent oral hygiene.
Functional orthodontics not only provides patients with straight teeth and a beautiful smile, but can render results that can dramatically alter a child’s overall appearance.
Protruding jaws are brought in; receding or weak chins become augmented. Smiles are wide and attractive.