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Orthodontics Introduction

All Orthodontists are dentists but according to a survey carried out by the American Dental Association, only 6% of the dentists are licensed Orthodontists. Although some dentists may occasionally place braces, only trained Orthodontist can diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities efficiently. The difference between normal dentists and an Orthodontist is quite similar to that between a family doctor and an OB/GYN. Once one achieves a university degree and earns specialty status, an Orthodontist focuses their attention exclusively on orthodontic problems excluding every other dental treatment like fillings, cleanings, crowns etc. which makes them distinguished problem solvers for orthodontic issues.

At Harmony Dental, your smile is important to us and because of this we are one of the few surgeries to offer orthodontist-dentist combined treatment to our patients. This means that all treatment carried out is overseen by both a dentist and an orthodontist so that your long-term dental care is always of the highest quality.

Our Board-Certified Orthodontist, Dr. Peters, is experienced with children and a full examination will be carried out prior to any treatment to observe how your child swallows, their oral muscles and how they use their tongue. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that all children should get a check-up with an Orthodontist before the age of 7.

Here’s Why?

  • Orthodontists can spot the rising problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while baby teeth are still present.
  • While your children’s teeth may look straight, there are some problems only orthodontists can predict.
  • It is especially important for children who are in their adolescence to be monitored by experienced Orthodontists as they can check-up & identify emerging dental problems, and then, if indicated, begin the treatment at an appropriate time for the child
  • Early treatment can prevent & intercept more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complex. There are some cases when dentists can’t restore the TMJ problems once the face and jaws have finished growing.

Early Treatment May Give Your Othodontist the Chance to:

  • Guide jaw growth
  • Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
  • Correct harmful oral habits
  • Improve appearance
  • Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
  • Create a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips and face
  • By providing an early Orthodontic evaluation, you will be giving your child a great opportunity to have a healthy, beautiful smile for lifetime.

If your child is older than 7, it’s certainly not too late for a check-up.As patients’ physiological development and treatment needs differ from person to person, it is advised to choose the licensed Orthodontist as they are able to provide the right treatment with right intensity at right time to the patient.

It is especially important to choose the right orthodontist as poor orthodontist treatment can result in breathing problems and sleep apnea. Our dentist, Maria Sokolina DDS, oversees all orthodontic cases to make sure that no unusual side effects occur. It is common for patients to continue with dental care after their orthodontic treatment is complete and at Harmony Dental our whole team is here to support you for years to come.


Problems to watch for in Growing Children

Children’s mouths are constantly changing and evolving with time. It is good to keep a watch for these common problems and if you notice any, it is beneficial to book an appointment with an orthodontist for a checkup.

Malocclusion (“bad bites”), may benefit from early diagnosis and referral to an orthodontic specialist for a full evaluation.

A crossbite of front teeth often develops during childhood and if not corrected, it will remain into adulthood. If left untreated a crossbite can cause serious health issues such as gum disease, tooth decay and stress on the jaw.

A crossbite of back teeth often develops during childhood and if not corrected, it will remain into adulthood. If left untreated a crossbite can cause serious health issues such as gum disease, tooth decay and stress on the jaw.

If your child has overcrowded teeth, it could possibly be caused by an underdeveloped jar. Overcrowded teeth can cause problems when it is time for the adult teeth to come through. To prevent any issues with the growth of their adult teeth, it is important to consult with an Orthodontist who will be able to realign your child’s teeth.

When your child has an open bite, it means that their top and bottom teeth do not meet when the back teeth are closed together. The cause of an open bite can be genetic or functional from habits such as thumb sucking or chewing on objects. If you suspect that your child has an open bite, consult with an Orthodontist today.

If your child has protruding teeth, it means that their upper front teeth are protruding out towards the lip more than the bottom front teeth are. This dental problem can easily be fixed with Orthodontic treatment.

A deep bite is when the top front teeth overlap the bottom front teeth by a considerable amount when the teeth are closed. Another name for this condition is ‘Overbite’. If left untreated a deep bite can cause excessive wear to teeth and gums resulting in more serious dental issues. If your child has an overbite, it is essential they see an Orthodontist who will be able to realign the bite.

If your child has an underbite, their bottom front teeth will be protruding out further than the upper front teeth. An underbite can be genetic but it can also be caused by excessive thumb sucking, use of a pacifier or extended bottle feeding. If your child suffers from this condition consult with your Orthodontist who will be able to realign your child’s teeth.

Gaps may appear in your child’s teeth if their teeth are too small for their jaw bone or for a number of other reasons relating to tooth growth. If your child’s teeth have grown with gaps, consult with your Orthodontist who will be able to give your child a straighter smile.

Oral habits that develop during childhood can have devastating effects on the development of a child’s mouth. Thumb sucking, finger biting, nail biting, finger sucking and tongue thrusting can all contribute to long term damage for tooth development. If you notice your child has any bad oral habits, consult with an Orthodontist to monitor any signs of damage.

Child fixed retainer photo

In addition, if you notice any of the following in your child, check with your orthodontist:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Jaws that shift or make sounds
  • Speech difficulties
  • Biting the cheek or the roof of the mouth
  • Facial imbalance
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth

As a caring parent, it is your responsibility to get a good Orthodontic treatment for your child.
The decision should be made with Orthodontist, you and your child.

We accept most PPO Health Insurance Plans

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