Keeping our teeth strong is one of the most important goals of modern dentistry, and many individuals think that just brushing and flossing their teeth, and visiting their dentist regularly for visits, is enough to ensure that teeth are healthy. It should be noted, of course, that this is not necessarily the case. Sometimes we need help ensuring that our mouth is healthy and properly formed with regards to our teeth and jaw placement. When that happens, particularly when children are involved, a field of dentistry known as preventative orthodontics comes into play. At our offices, we are proud to offer preventative orthodontic treatment to our patients in order to help prevent issues before they become serious.
What is preventative orthodontic treatment?
Sometimes we can predict malocclusions before they actually occur. This is an important and useful process as it enables us to help avoid problems and costlier dental procedures than what we will encounter if the malocclusions are fully formed and settled in before treatment is sought. In some cases, we can avoid the development of said malocclusion altogether. We do this by recognizing the signs of impending issues and then taking preventative measures to help avoid the problems. There are different kinds of preventative orthodontic treatment that can be carried out.
One of the most common issues that we run into is helping to ensure that children's permanent teeth erupt into the correct position. Normally, baby teeth ensure that adult teeth have enough room to grow—they hold the space, in other words, until permanent teeth are ready to come in. Sometimes, however, baby teeth are lost early. This can be due to trauma or simply chance. The exact reason doesn't matter, of course, the main issue is that if baby teeth are lost too early, they are not able to guide permanent teeth into position. and help maintain enough space for adult teeth to erupt. A space maintainer—a small orthodontic appliance—might be needed to keep teeth in their current positions to avoid overcrowding issues.
Another way to help the issue of crowding in a child's mouth while their adult teeth come in, is to undergo something known as guided eruption. This helps us make plenty of space in the child's mouth to fit the incoming teeth, which allows natural alignment to take hold from the very beginning.
When it comes to early extraction, the problem tends to be that primary teeth refuse to fall out on their own. This can cause issues with adult teeth growing into the wrong position thanks to a lack of room in the child's mouth. When this happens, it is sometimes necessary to remove the primary tooth in order to allow room for the proper spacing and eruption of permanent teeth.
Are you interested in learning more about preventative orthodontic treatments? Give us a call today in order to see how we can help your child develop healthy and strong teeth, avoiding potential issues that might make for costlier visits later in life.