Early Treatment

Young-boy

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child receives his or her first orthodontic screening by age 7. By starting treatment early, we are able to recognize potential problems and correct them before they become more serious. Although treatment will not necessarily begin at this early age, Dr. Nelson will monitor your child periodically while the permanent teeth are erupting and the jaws and face continue to grow.

During your child’s initial evaluation, we will first determine if there are any problems that need to be addressed, such as potential crowding, open bite, overbite or gummy smiles. We utilize appliances that help with jaw and teeth alignment while children are still growing.

Your child may need orthodontic treatment if he/she has any of these signs:

  • Losing his/her teeth too early or too late
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Sucking his/her fingers
  • Teeth that are crowded or misplaced
  • Jaws that make a "popping" sound or shift
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Frequent cheek biting
  • Imbalance of facial features
  • Jaws that protrude or retrude
  • Teeth grinding

Orthodontic Issues Corrected by Early Treatment

Crowding

Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum, if the teeth are too large for their allotted space, or if the teeth erupt incorrectly.

Crowding can often be corrected by expansion. Many times, tooth removal can be avoided by first trying expansion. If more space is needed, some teeth may be extracted to create this room. In either case, braces will be used to straighten the teeth once the extra space has been created.

Thumb Sucking

Sucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of permanent teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth.

One solution to thumb sucking is an appliance that is placed behind on the upper teeth on the roof of the mouth. The appliance usually stops the habit of thumb sucking within the first day of use.

Tongue Thrusting

Tongue thrusting occurs when the patient presses his or her tongue against the front teeth, usually when swallowing, speaking or resting the tongue. If thrusting is constant, this can cause problems with teeth alignment and must be fixed.

We prefer to correct tongue thrusting by giving patients a tongue thrusting appliance. This appliance, similar to a mouthguard, is usually worn at night. Other times, a more permanent appliance is prescribed and can be only be adjusted by our office.

Airway Management

Does your child snore, wake up frequently during the night, have difficulty waking up in the mornings or sleep with his/her mouth open? He or she could be exhibiting signs of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

To increase airway capacity in children who may have OSA, we offer some non-invasive options. First is an oral appliance called a palatal expander, which widens the roof of the mouth and expands the airway. The second is a mouthpiece that helps hold your child’s jaws in a certain position during the night, opening the airway.

Wyoming Springs Orthodontics

  • Wyoming Springs Orthodontics - 7215 Wyoming Springs Dr., Suite 1000, Round Rock, TX 78681 Phone: 512-255-4444 Fax: 512-255-1750

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