Early Intervention Orthodontics
Timing is crucial when it comes to your child’s orthodontic treatment. The goal of early intervention treatment is to stop the developing problem, eradicate the cause, guide the growth of facial and jaw bones, and provide space for incoming permanent teeth.
Restore Your Strong, Healthy Smile
Orthodontic Intervention in childhood helps us take advantage of your child’s natural growth process to treat or prevent bad bites. Palatal expanders are used to create more space in your child’s mouth by gradually widening the upper or lower jaw. A palatal expander also helps to create more space for their teeth and can help correct the way their upper and lower teeth fit together.
Reasons for needing a palatal expander:
- Crowded teeth.
- Overlapping teeth.
- Crooked teeth.
- Impacted teeth.
- A misaligned bite (crossbite, open bite, overbite, underbite).
These conditions can be corrected by expanding the width of the palate to accommodate the development of all your child’s teeth, broaden the smile, open up the nasal passages and improve the bite. A palatal expander can help to shorten the amount of orthodontic treatment time they may need later on.
Orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) are abnormal movement patterns of the face and mouth. These disorders are very common among Americans today and range from oral breathing to poor swallow patterns.
Orofacial myofunctional therapy addresses these disorders. We work with patients to get their muscles and tongue functioning properly – we work together on goals like eliminating harmful oral habits, creating lip seal, improving proper tongue rest position, enhancing nasal breathing, and promoting proper chewing and swallow patterns.
Because the muscles of the face and tongue are extremely strong, they impact development, speech, breathing, and even sleep patterns. If these muscles are not functioning properly, people can experience a wide variety of problems including:
- narrowing of the facial structure
- reduced space in the nasal cavity
- pain of the temporomandibular joint – where your jaw and cheekbone connect
- difficulty in eating/swallowing certain foods
- changes in the grinding surface of the teeth
- orthodontic relapse
- sleep breathing disorders such as sleep apnea
Myofunctional therapy is often referred to as physical therapy for the tongue and face. Just like in physical therapy exercises, you get out what you put in – myofunctional therapy is a lifestyle change that can impact you for the rest of your life!
A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that treats a tongue-tie. Frenectomy is a simple treatment used to help increase your child’s tongue range of motion and offers a range of benefits to improve their function and quality of life.
Tongue-ties create a lingual frenulum, which is a band of skin that connects the bottom of your tongue to the floor of your mouth and acts as an anchor for the tongue. Lip-ties create a labial frenum, which is the connective webbing that attaches the lips to the gum above the top two front teeth and below the bottom two front teeth. These bands are made of soft tissues that can be tight or thick and can hamper the mouth’s everyday functions.
Signs your child may need a frenectomy:
- Trouble breastfeeding
- Requiring a speech pathologist when speech is affected by a tongue-tie
- Problems eating or reaching the back teeth
- Being bothered or distracted by your own tongue-tie symptoms
Tongue-ties and lip-ties don’t always create major problems. In fact, some people get along just fine and compensate really well. On the other hand, they can make it hard to speak by preventing the tongue from fully lifting, moving from side to side, and sticking out past your front teeth. Tongue ties and lip-ties often cause malocclusion or develop an improper bite.
Early Intervention Resources
What are White Dental Fillings Made From?
Fillings—whether it’s filling a cavity, restoring another kind of tooth decay, reshaping a tooth or changing its color —are one of the most commonly performed