Early treatment at Smile Team Orthodontics
We recommend orthodontic treatment begin as early as 8 or 9-years-old in order to prevent a variety of orthodontic issues from becoming more complex. This is in alignment with advice from the Australian Society of Orthodontists. Early treatment provides the opportunity for a two-phase treatment programme that helps ensure a healthy smile and an attractive facial profile. The first phase of orthodontic treatment is prior to the eruption of all permanent teeth; the second phase is in the teen years.
To determine the orthodontic needs of your child, please contact our office to make an appointment for an initial evaluation. At this appointment, we will examine your child’s mouth, teeth, and facial profile. We will take photographs, x-rays and impressions (moulds) of your child’s teeth to further evaluate his or her bite. These impressions are used to create a digital model of the bite, teeth and surrounding structures.
All of the information collected at your first appointment is reviewed and analysed by the orthodontist. A second appointment will also be made to discuss the details of your treatment plan, including length of treatment, what kind of orthodontic appliances will be involved and the cost.
A properly aligned bite is healthy and attractive
A variety of issues can be diagnosed at a young age. These include cross bites, where the teeth of the upper jaw do not align with the teeth of the lower jaw, or an open bite, where the upper and lower jaw do not come together when the mouth is closed. We can also determine if a child’s mouth will have enough space to accommodate all of his or her adult teeth.
If the mouth does not have enough space to accommodate all of the adult teeth, in some cases we can expand the palate to create more room for future teeth using an orthodontic appliance. This may prevent the need to extract teeth later. The appliance is usually cemented in place and is typically worn for 9 months.
We can also diagnose and address issues that affect the shape of the face and jaw, such as mouth breathing, thumb and finger sucking.
Even young children can wear braces. Braces, which are a very effective method of straightening teeth, consist of brackets, an archwire and elastics. Treatment time varies according to the client's needs, but the average time in braces for the first phase of treatment is 12 months.
For more information about wearing braces and other orthodontic appliances, please refer to our Client Info section.
Sleep Apnea in children
- Poor performance at school
- Mouth breathing
- Irritability or mood changes
- Developmental and/or growth problems
- Behavioural problems
Jaw discrepancies (narrow and small) have been shown to be a potential cause of sleep apnea in children. While the jaw and bones are still growing, it is possible to manipulate jaw development to provide a more desirable and comfortable tooth and bite position. In a lot of cases this can be achieved by wearing plates and can often avoid the need for more drastic measures later in life. The use of plates in your child’s mouth can expand narrow dental arches, correct mal-positioned or small jaws, and bring bites into the correct position.