ORTHODONTIC

Pediatric dentists have an in-depth knowledge of the growth and development of your child’s teeth, mouth and jaw structure. Certain growth problems, if recognized early, can be treated before they become more severe and harder to correct in the permanent dentition. 

Children often exhibit signs of crowding or jaw problems as they are growing. Children between ages of 6 to 10 years are excellent candidates for early orthodontic care because it takes advantage of the patient’s physical growth potential at a stage when they are growing at a rapid rate. The primary goal of early treatment is to develop a solid foundation for the teeth.

Periodic recall appointments are set in order to check the progression of jaw growth and permanent tooth eruption. For this purpose, appliances can be utilized to direct the growth of the jaws and improve teeth alignment.

In summary, early treatment can reduce the cost, duration and complexity of comprehensive orthodontic treatment for select cases.

Space Maintenance

When a baby molar is prematurely lost, it is often necessary to hold the teeth on either side of the missing tooth to prevent shifting and crowding. If the space is not maintained, it will be lost and there will not be enough room for the permanent tooth to erupt.

When a primary front tooth is lost, it is not necessary to place a space maintainer, as movement of adjacent teeth is not anticipated. The type of space maintainer used is dependent upon your child’s age, number of teeth lost and the stage of development.

Oral Habit Appliances

Thumb Sucking and Oral Habits

In the primary dentition, controlling harmful habits such as finger or thumb sucking is best done before the eruption of the permanent teeth and is also dependant on the child's willingness to stop.
The majority of children suck a thumb or a finger from a very young age. Most children stop thumb sucking on their own between the ages of two and four. They simply grow out of a habit that is no longer useful to them. However, some children continue sucking beyond the preschool years. If your child is still sucking when their permanent teeth start to erupt, it may be time to take action to break the habit.
Some dental and skeletal problems that can be caused due to prolonged oral habits include, improper jaw alignments, irregular spacing and position of the teeth, an 'open bite', cross-bites, as well as altered growth of the jaws.
 
n general, the treatment during the preschool period is kept simple, since the child has a limited understanding of the problem and limited ability to comply with treatment. When your child reaches the ‘mixed dentition’ stage (roughly at age six when the permanent teeth begin to erupt), it is often an excellent time for the correction of dental and skeletal problems due to persisting oral habits.
Treatment options focus on stopping the habit when the child is emotionally and psychologically ready. Fixed or removable appliances can be used to help stop the habit as well as correct any growth problems that may have arisen