Early Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment

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Amanda Orvis, RDH

Early Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment

Often time’s orthodontic treatment is recommended before all of your child’s primary (baby) teeth have even fallen out. Early orthodontic treatment can alleviate future, possibly more invasive, orthodontic corrections.

Here are a few reasons for early interceptive treatment:

  • Corrective positioning for a better prognosis of how the permanent teeth with develop.
  • To correct any oral habits that cause developmental problems such as thumb sucking, pacifier use, and tongue thrusting.
  • To correct malocclusions, or poor bite relationships, such as overbites, under bites, open bites, cross bites, crowding, spacing, teeth erupting out of sequence, or missing teeth.
  • To correct growth problems such as narrow palates.
  • To guide the growth of the jaw bones to a more favorable position for permanent tooth eruption.

“The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that all children receive an orthodontic screening by the age 7. Permanent teeth generally begin to come in at age 6 or 7. It is at this point that orthodontic problems become apparent.”

If you are unsure about the need for early interceptive orthodontic treatment for your child, it is a good idea to visit with an orthodontist to familiarize yourself with treatment options. If you are concerned with the appearance or development of your child’s teeth, or if you have questions please do not hesitate to call our office and schedule an appointment to discuss treatment options and referral information.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/early-orthodontics/article/early-orthodontics-may-mean-less-treatment-later

Are You a Mouth Breather?

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Katie Moynihan, BS RDH

Are You a Mouth Breather?

Breathing out of your mouth may not seem like a huge problem, but in terms of oral health and facial development, mouth breathing can create numerous oral health concerns. Chronic mouth breathing occurs when your body cannot get enough oxygen through your nose, therefore, must resort to your mouth for the necessary oxygen supply. It can be caused by several different factors – obstructive, habitual, and anatomic conditions. In most cases, mouth breathing is caused by chronic nasal obstruction. Examples of this include enlarged tonsils, allergies, nasal congestion, asthma, and nasal polyps. It may also be caused just by habit. A person might not even know any better because it is the norm for them to breathe through their mouth. Some anatomic conditions that can cause mouth breathing include Down syndrome, malocclusion, tongue thrusting, cerebral palsy, and sleep apnea. Each of these conditions contribute to the deprivation of oxygen which can lead to a host of unpleasant symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of mouth breathing in dentistry include:

  • dry lips and mouth
  • decreased saliva
  • inflamed and bleeding gums
  • increased plaque
  • frequent cavities
  • chronic bad breath
  • swollen tonsils/adenoids

Mouth breathing has been known to cause developmental problems in children. Often times children breathe through their mouth habitually and many parents never think twice about it. However, if left undiagnosed and untreated, it may lead to permanent skeletal deformities. The face can begin to grow long and narrow, the nose can become flat with small nostrils, and the lips can be thin on top and quite pouty on the bottom. This, in addition to the other negative effects to oral health, shows that mouth breathing is a whole body problem and should be treated as early as possible.

 

Yes, you read that right, mouth breathing can be treated! You would think that it would be an easy habit to change – just close your mouth, right? Unfortunately, for people who struggle with mouth breathing, it’s not that easy. The body simply doesn’t know how to breathe normally, and the muscles of the face and mouth have compensated and learned to work incorrectly. In order to stop mouth breathing, the muscles must be re-trained to function in new ways. Treatment includes respiratory exercises, lifestyle changes, and in some cases medical surgeries and devices. If you feel as though your mouth breathing is occurring more than normal, please consult with your dental or health care professional to determine the cause and treatment needed to correct your chronic mouth breathing.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.myfaceology.com/mouth-breathing/

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=m&iid=296&aid=7327

http://besthealthus.com/conditions/oral-health/mouth-breather/

Tongue Thrust

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Julie West BS RDH

During your child’s dental exam, the hygienist and dentist will evaluate your child’s bite to see if the teeth align properly.  As your child’s adult teeth start to emerge, the dentist will determine if orthodontics are recommended.   Most children who get braces will have straight, aligned teeth in a year or two.  However, if your child has a tongue thrusting habit, they may be back in those braces before you know it.

Tongue thrusting habit is a condition in which the tongue makes contact with any teeth other than the molars during swallowing.  It is considered an orofacial myofunctional disorder.  Although a tongue thrust is normal in infancy, development moves the tongue upward to form the shape of the palate, and the tongue thrust usually decreases and disappears as a child grows.  If the tongue thrust continues, a child may look, speak, and swallow differently than other children the same ago.    Older children may become self-conscious about their appearance.

The tongue is a strong muscle, and its constant pressure on the back of the front teeth can cause them to protrude outward.  Over time, this may lead to the front teeth not touching in what is called an “open bite”.  Although orthodontics can correct this, if the habit is not stopped, the teeth will eventually move out again.  In fact, many orthodontists have families seek therapy to correct tongue thrust before braces are put on to ensure treatment is successful.

A child’s speech may also be affected by tongue thrust habit.  One study sampled a group of children, half with tongue thrust, half without, and found that 86% of the children with tongue thrust exhibited lisping as compared to 0% of the children without tongue thrust.  Research examining various populations found 38% have orofacial myofunctional disorders and an incidence of 81% has been found in children exhibiting speech/articulation problems.

A speech therapist, myofunctional therapist, orthodontist, and your dentist can all help correct this habit in your child and restore their occlusion

Below is a picture of a child with tongue thrust and an open bite:

Tongue Thrust

Image source: healthline24x7.com

For more information on tongue thrust, please visit: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/OMD.htm

And ask your dentist or hygienist at your child’s next appointment!

 

 

Source:

Dixit UB, Shetty RM. Comparison of soft-tissue, dental, and skeletal characteristics in children with and without tongue thrusting habit. Contemp Clin Dent 2013;4:2-6