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Pre-Orthodontics for Younger Children



Early or Interceptive Orthodontics reduces length of Orthodontic treatment with fixed braces

Some children as early as 5 or 6 years of age may benefit from an orthodontic evaluation. Although treatment is unusual at this early age, some preventative treatment may be indicated.


By age 7, most children have a mix of baby (primary) and adult (permanent) teeth. Some common orthodontic problems seen in children can be traced to genetics, that is, they may be inherited from their parents. Children may experience dental crowding, too much space between teeth, protruding teeth, and extra or missing teeth and sometimes jaw growth problems.


Other malocclusions (literally, “bad bite”) are acquired. In other words, they develop over time. They can be caused by thumb or finger-sucking, mouth breathing, dental disease, abnormal swallowing, poor dental hygiene, the early or late loss of baby teeth, accidents or poor nutrition. Trauma and other medical conditions such as birth defects may contribute to orthodontic problems as well. Sometimes an inherited malocclusion is complicated by an acquired problem. Whatever the cause, most conditions can be treated successfully.


Orthodontists are trained to spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. The advantage for patients of early detection of orthodontic problems is that some problems may be easier to correct if they are found and treated early. Waiting until all the permanent teeth have come in, or until facial growth is nearly complete, may make correction of some problems more difficult. For these reasons, many Orthodontists worldwide recommend that all children get a check-up with an Orthodontist at age 7. While your child’s teeth may appear straight to you, there could be a problem that only an Orthodontist can detect. Of course, the check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine, and that is comforting news.


Even if a problem is detected, sometimes a “wait-and-see” approach is taken by checking your child from time to time as the permanent teeth come in and the jaws and face continue to grow.


For each patient who may need treatment, there is an ideal time for treatment to begin in order to achieve the best results. Our goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.


In some cases, early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.


Benefits of Early Interceptive Orthodontics

  • Guide jaw growth

  • Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth

  • Correct harmful oral habits

  • Improve appearance and self-esteem

  • Guide permanent teeth into a more favourable position

  • Improve the way lips meet


It’s not always easy for parents to tell if their child has an orthodontic problem. Here are some signs or habits that may indicate the need for an orthodontic examination:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth

  • Difficulty in chewing or biting

  • Mouth breathing

  • Thumb sucking

  • Finger sucking

  • Crowding, misplaced or blocked out teeth

  • Jaws that shift or make sounds

  • Biting the cheek or roof of the mouth

  • Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all

  • Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face


If any of these problems are noted by parents, regardless of age, it is advisable to have a consult. It is not necessary to wait until age 7 for an orthodontic check-up.

Interceptive Orthodontics

Growth Modification Before Adult Teeth Are Set

Paving the way for straight teeth to erupt. Growth Modification Therapy at Artiste Studios

What most people want out of a course of orthodontic treatment is straight teeth. Orthodontics often achieves teeth straightening by altering bone structures with the use of functional appliances. These appliances work by expanding the dental jaws where the teeth are held thus creating space for crowded teeth to straighten out.


Growth modification in orthodontics makes use of the natural adolescent growth spurt and uses it to its advantage in using and enhancing the effects of growth on the jaws and facial bones to achieve more ideal facial profiles without surgery. This is carried out around the time of puberty where there is the most growth in the jaw bones.


Our growth modification orthodontic treatment involves a two phase treatment.


Phase 1

Aligns the upper and lower arches by the use of functional appliance therapy


Phase 2

Aligning the individual teeth via the use of fixed braces usually without routine extractions of permanent teeth.


The long term results of this combined mode of treatment tend to be more aesthetically pleasing, stable, and have shorter treatment times. Crowded teeth with seemingly little space should certainly be properly evaluated to prevent routine permanent tooth extractions.


The benefits of two phase treatment in suitable candidates are numerous and some are listed below:

  • Potentially more beneficial for periodontal tissues (less apical root resorption, bone loss and recession) due to decreased susceptibility of children to periodontal problems and to root resorption during phase 1, and also due to decreased treatment time in phase 2

  • Eliminates functional problems earlier (habits)

  • Decreases need for extractions

  • Potential for better aesthetics, earlier (fuller smile, improved lip incompetence)

  • Ability to effect greater reduction of skeletal deformity (if treatment is not completely satisfactory there is an additional chance in the second phase)

  • Lower risk of trauma to protruded front teeth

  • Reduces likelihood of permanent teeth becoming impacted

  • Potentially better compliance in children than in adolescents


This is a very important approach that will help achieve goals of an improved profile and facial appearance, as well as the establishment of a proper joint position that ensures optimum temporomandibular joint (TMJ) health, appearance and comfort. The combination of the two phases of treatment ensures beautiful faces, full lips, straight teeth and outstanding profiles, principal components that all leading clinicians are teaching.

Growth Modification

Functional Orthodontics or Orthopaedic Orthodontics

Achieving A Child’s Facial Harmony

Functional orthopaedic orthodontics means treating the jaw posture, tooth relationship, muscle relationship and head and neck posture as a whole. When evaluating each patient the upper and lower dental arch development is examined carefully with the aid of our fully digitilised panoramic and cephalometric radiographic systems.

State of the art computerised Diagnostics, Functional Jaw Scans, and a Cephalometric Arch Analysis are used before beginning the treatment: 

  • To determine the proper jaw sizes

  • To determine proper jaw position in relation to each other

  • To determine any posturing problems of the head and neck

  • To determine if there are airway breathing problems

  • To determine if there are abnormal tongue posturing problems

  • To determine an optimal jaw relationship for form, function and comfort

  • To identify a correct treatment end-point for proper tooth positioning


Functional Orthopaedic Orthodontics affect how the muscles, jaw joints and teeth relate to one another. Proper harmonisation of the teeth with the jaw joints and muscles allow the teeth to wear and function evenly, be stable and decrease any trauma to the surrounding supporting bone. This is a very important approach that will help you achieve your goals of an improved profile and facial appearance, as well as the establishment of a proper joint position that ensures optimum temporomandibular joint (TMJ) health, appearance and comfort.


With the use of functional appliances, a proper tongue and jaw position is created to eliminate negative forces on the teeth. Narrow dental arch forms are properly developed to a full contour enhancing breathing and appearance.

Dento-Facial Harmony
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