ARE YOUR CHILD’S TEETH STRAIGHT? by Kieryn Smart BDS (Rand)
Take a good look again at your young child’s teeth and then ask yourself:
Is there enough space for the new adult teeth?
Are the teeth too big?
Will their face grow and everything be okay?
When should I get an orthodontic opinion?
Well, let’s give some back ground information and answer these searching questions. EARLY is the answer. How early is early? At Roseneath Dental Practice we believe by the age of six or seven the dentist and parents should have an established face growth and tooth eruption plan, including the space availability for the adult teeth, and their relevance to the face shape and general health and development of the child.
Generally by the age of six years 80% of jaw growth has occurred. Analysis at this stage will give a predicted path of development of the face, jaws and teeth. The reality today is that the face and jaws of modern man are becoming more refined and narrower, narrowing the jaws that house the teeth. This is particularly noticeable in the upper jaw and palate; the resulting high narrow palate obstructing the flow of air through the nose and affecting tongue position. Other associated health issues include mouth breathing, ear infections, sleep apnoea and tooth grinding.
So the teeth are not the wrong size or too big, it is the jaws that are too small! This results in crooked teeth growing through where they can. The narrow upper jaw and crooked upper teeth hold back the growth of the lower jaw and thereby affect the shape of the face.
The dentists Roseneath are proactive and prescribe Functional Jaw Orthopaedics (bone) with the use of either fixed or removable appliances. Phase one consists of developing the jaws to the correct size therefore avoiding tooth extractions, followed by phase two aligning the jaws and correcting the face profile and finally a retainer phase.
Children between the ages of six and eleven are generally treated in this way, while teenagers and adults are treated by Roseneath’s Specialist Orthodontist to create beautiful smiles.