Children’s orthodontic treatment at Roseneath
Kieryn Smart, an Invisalign® First provider at Roseneath Orthodontic Practice answers the question he gets asked all the time by parents: “What is the right time to start my child’s orthodontic treatment?”
Take a good look 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 your child’s face grow and will everything be ok?
- when should I get an orthodontic opinion? EARLY, IS THE ANSWER!
But how early is early?
Kieryn, a dentist passionate about children’s tooth and face development and one of the first dentists in the UK to use Invisalign First (a cutting edge system where a sequence of clear aligners is used). Invisalign First develops and shapes the dental arches that house the teeth, simultaneously straightening the teeth and developing the face and profile. Kieryn explains that age 9 or 10 can be an ideal age to start early interceptive orthodontics, or what he refers to as dental orthopaedics. Roseneath Dental Practice believes that by the age of six or seven the dentist and parents should have an established face growth and tooth eruption plan, including the space available for the adult teeth, and their relevance to the face shape and general health and development of the child.
The teeth are not the wrong size or too big, it is the jaws that are too small!
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 proactive dentists at Roseneath have been successfully treating their young patients with early interceptive orthodontics (Functional Jaw Orthopaedics) for well over a decade. Too many adults and parents today remember having teeth extracted in their teens and dental appliances inserted that needed a key to turn the gear at regular intervals as well as the “gooey” impressions paste that made them gag.
Well, technologies have moved on considerably in the last few years. There is no more need for gooey impressions (hooray!) as now a 3D scanner is simply passed over the teeth capturing all the tooth detail in a 3D image. From this image, all the mouth measurements and analysis and fabrication of the latest bone arch and tooth straightening “aligners” are made. A series of clear aligners is fabricated, all of which are numbered and individually packaged so that the patient simply opens the package and follows the sequential order wearing the aligners over the teeth day and night.
Kieryn finds his young patients very compliant. Only by using these hardly visible aligners, with no plastic on the palate (like it used to be in case of the old type appliances), no altered speech as a result and no need for teeth extractions, both parents and children watch in amazement as the dental arches take shape and teeth get straightened providing space for the future permanent teeth and foundation for a beautiful smile.