Preventive orthodontics

Preventive orthodontics specialize in treatments to prevent or reduce the severity of developing malocclusion’s by maintaining the quality of an otherwise healthy developing oral structure. When an issue is noticed earlier, treatment can be shorter and less expensive compared to future developments that are left untreated.

Common preventative treatments include:

Space Maintainers:

Baby teeth aren’t just for chewing. Each one also acts as a guide for the eruption of the permanent tooth that replaces it. When lost early due to accidents or need to be extracted because of severe decay that causes infection, a space maintainer may be required. If the space is not maintained, other neighbouring teeth may shift and drift into their place, preventing the permanent tooth from erupting or causing crowding and/or misalignment when it does.

A space maintainer is an orthodontic appliance that keeps the space open so that the permanent tooth can erupt into its natural position. It is a simple device that can save your child many months of future orthodontic treatment.

In our clinic we usually recommend fixed space maintainer (band and loop). Your child will attend two short appointments at our clinic. During the first appointment, impressions will be taken of your child’s teeth. These impressions will be used to create your child’s custom-made space maintainer. During the second appointment, we will attach the space maintainer to your child’s teeth and make any necessary adjustments to ensure it is comfortable for your child. Following this appointment, your child can eat and drink normally.

Early Extraction:

Occasionally a primary tooth does not fall out when it supposed to or simply does not fall out on it’s own at all. In these cases, the permanent tooth can grow in the wrong location because it does the primary tooth has not been pushed out of the space. If this is the case, then it may be necessary to extract the primary tooth to allow the proper eruption and spacing location of the permanent tooth.

Thumb Sucking:

Thumb sucking is quite a normal self-soothing behavior for babies, and will not cause any damage up to three to four years of age. But extensive thumb sucking beyond 3 to 4 years of age can cause the upper teeth or jaw to tip forward and can result in a serious overbite that requires extensive orthodontic treatment.If your child continues to suck their thumb after they begin to get their adult teeth, schedule an appointment with us. We will evaluate your child’s thumb-sucking behavior and help you to make the decision that is right for your child. we often recommend creating a dental appliance called fixed palatal crib, which is cemented behind your child’s front teeth to discourage thumb sucking. The appliance is not uncomfortable, but it makes the act of thumb sucking less enjoyable, thus discouraging the behavior. With the use of a dental appliance, future costly orthodontic treatment may be prevented.

You can also help your child stop sucking their thumb. If you suspect your child is sucking their thumb for comfort, you can focus on the cause of their anxiety and provide comfort.  If you suspect your child is sucking their thumb due to boredom, distract them with activities.  Above all else, notice and praise them when they are not sucking their thumb!

For fabrication of appliance your child will attend two short appointments at our clinic. During the first appointment, impressions will be taken of your child’s teeth. These impressions will be used to create your child’s custom-made tongue crib . During the second appointment, we will attach the tongue crib to your child’s teeth and make any necessary adjustments to ensure it is comfortable for your child. Following this appointment, your child can eat and drink normally but it can be difficult at first to adjust .

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.Like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting is a normal behavioral pattern in young children. It’s actually part of the natural infantile swallowing pattern, which will normally change on its own — by the age of six, in most children. If the pattern doesn’t change, however, it can lead to problems similar to those caused by thumb sucking: namely, problems with tooth alignment and skeletal development. Fortunately, this problem can be successfully treated with a habit appliance that’s very similar to a fixed palatal crib.