When children are young we have an amazing opportunity to alter their growth and get them back on track. Many bite or tooth problems can be alleviated with early intervention. People tend to think of bad bites or crooked and misaligned teeth as a ‘tooth’ problem. Here is the interesting thing, teeth move. If they didn’t then braces wouldn’t work. The real problem is a bone issue. If the bones are not the correct size or in the correct position, then the teeth will be crooked and the bite will be ‘off’. Now if we go back one more step and ask "how did the bones grow this way?" The answer is that the bones are directed by tissue. So really, everything starts with the posture of the muscles of our face and mouth. They apply pressure to the bone and teeth and the bones and teeth are moved to a new position. When we understand how we got to where we are, then we can best create a treatment plan to correct the problems.

Palatal Expander

A palatal expander is a great way to be able to create space in a child's mouth. It's job is quite simple.

These expanders are only used while teeth and jaws are developing and cannot be used when the palatal bones are fused, which occurs after puberty.

The most common situations in which a palatal expander is used are for crossbites, crowding, and impacted teeth.

Phase I Orthodontics

Information coming soon

Space Maintainer

Baby teeth are the foundation for teeth development and act as place holders to guide adult teeth in to their proper places within the mouth.

On occasion, baby teeth are lost too soon, which creates an open gap in the mouth and allows space for teeth to shift which then create issues as the adult teeth begin to erupt. Space maintainers are important in these situations.

Space maintainers allow the gaps to remain open and prevent teeth from taking over the open area. They are a great help to prevent future orthodontic treatment.

Thumb Sucking

Most of the time, this habit is given up around the age of 4. However, there are children who continue to suck their thumbs well past this timeframe.

When children continue sucking their thumbs, it can affect the position of newly erupting teeth as well as re-shape the roof of their mouths.

As with all orthodontic treatment, these cases can be minimal or severe. Speech can also be affected depending on the severity and positioning of the thumb.

Talk with Dr. Franklin or Dr. Adair to figure out the best way to help.

Missing Permanent Teeth

Hypodontia (the common dental term) describes a situation when fewer than 6 permanent teeth are missing, the term Oligodontia is used when more than 6 permanent teeth are missing (they were never formed). The most common missing teeth are the third molars (otherwise known as the Wisdom Teeth), followed by the premolars and the lateral incisors. Although it is not uncommon to have one missing tooth, patients with multiple missing teeth generally have a strong genetic component and it has been linked to conditions such as Ectodermal Dysplasia and several syndromes. Because early recognition aids in proper treatment, your dentist will refer you to specialists (orthodontist, oral surgeons, etc) that will determine which options suit you best to replace the missing teeth.

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