Junior Stage (2-12 years)
The Junior Stage of your child's dental life is the most dynamic and active one and one of the most influential stages of their dental life. Most children at stage have healthy teeth and at Roseneath Kids we want them to stay that way. We examine and carefully analyse the possibility of future difficulties in jaw development and growth and risks to dental wellbeing from diet, oral hygiene and harmful habits. After all, this dynamic stage will see the loss of almost all of the twenty baby teeth and the arrival of some twenty eight permanent teeth which we want to keep for a lifetime.
During this Junior Stage we strongly encourage regular dental check up visits to reinforce, introduce and perfect oral hygiene skills to maintain optimal dental health.
We work in tandem with the parents and our hygienists advising on diet, hygiene techniques as well as carry out part of our prevention strategy (e.g. protective sealing the teeth).
The Junior Stage development checks are the most important as it is during this stage that irregularities in the growth and development of the jaws and teeth mainly present themselves. Through early detection and intervention in correcting the cause we can get jaw development and teeth irregularities back on track.
The Junior Stage encompasses the very strong growth and developmental stage of the body as well as the jaws and face, with 80% of jaw and face development reached by the age of 7. Early intervention with dental orthopaedics will give the greatest chance of the best result. Although patients are able to be treated at any age, those with available growth may enjoy a substantial advantage. Getting the timing right is important because jaw size can be developed in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth as well as the relations of the upper and lower jaws to each other.
The Junior Stage is also the period when speech is perfected and correct articulation of words is established. The jaw and teeth development are very dynamic during this stage and need to be correct as they have an impact on speech. It is normally during this stage that parents notice speech defects. Most of the speech defects have a dental origin. The jaw, teeth and tongue position and their interaction with each other need to be correct for speech and word articulation to develop correctly. Simple structural issues such as tongue tie, tongue thrusting, open tooth position or incorrect jaw relationship may all contribute to speech problems. At Roseneath Kids we analyse and intervene to correct the dental component as well as work with two very experienced speech therapists.
At Roseneath Kids we work closely with parents and their children to identify harmful habits that can contribute to incorrect jaw development and tooth irregularities which may in turn also produce speech problems. Thumb and digit sucking, lip sucking, long term dummy use can all contribute to interfering with natural jaw and tooth development. Correctly timed interventions can put the developments back on schedule.
The later stages of the Junior Stage usually see children with most of their adult teeth present and it is here that the final tooth positioning is assessed for a beautiful wide lifelong stable and well functioning smile. Many children would have worn orthopaedic appliances previously and now follow onto the orthodontic stage where small alignments of the teeth may be necessary to achieve the final result.
Most children start orthodontic treatment at the latter part of this Junior Stage. Not every child needs early orthopaedic treatment and as such this late Junior Stage development check analyses and assesses the need for orthodontic tooth positioning treatments. We normally want to take advantage of the usual growth spurt that children have at this age which is very advantageous for orthodontic tooth and jaw movements.