• December 1, 2017

It can certainly be a bit worrisome: to think about your young children wearing any type of dental device. But there are a surprising number of benefits to preventative orthodontics. Mainly that they help prevent more serious conditions in the future and can save you the money you would’ve had to spend on those extensive orthodontic treatments and solutions.

At Brandon Family Dental, Dr. Angela Harrell has the experience necessary to diagnose potential problems early on and prevent or reduce the severity of dental problems that can occur as permanent teeth come in.

What Is Preventative Orthodontics?

Preventative orthodontics is a specific type of treatment used for children with bite issues and to prevent further dental problems from occurring. By treating an issue early on, there’s a better chance that treatment needed down the road will be shorter and less extensive than an issue left untreated as soon as it’s identified.

Below are some commonly used preventative orthodontic treatments.

Space Maintainers

Your baby teeth help guide your permanent, adult teeth into the right position. If your baby teeth are lost too early, usually because of an accident or disease, a space maintainer might be necessary.

A space maintainer is an orthodontic appliance that keeps the space open, allowing the permanent tooth to properly and naturally come in. By maintaining the space, the other teeth are held in their correct position. If the neighboring teeth were to shift out of position, it could prevent the permanent tooth from erupting or cause crowding or misalignment when it does erupt.

Guided Eruption

Guided eruption is a preventative orthodontic technique used to prevent or reduce crowding. This treatment typically occurs when the permanent front teeth are erupting.

What we do is create more space for the teeth to come in, allowing for more natural alignment. Don’t worry, this technique isn’t anything to fear. We work hard to make sure all our patients are completely comfortable no matter the treatment!

Early Extraction

Every now and then, a baby tooth takes too long to fall out or doesn’t fall out at all. If this happens, the permanent tooth can come in incorrectly because of a lack of space. To prevent problems from occurring, we may need to extract the baby tooth to give the permanent tooth enough room to come in.

Thumb Sucking

Constant or regular thumb sucking can cause the upper teeth or jaw to slide forward, causing a severe overbite that will need extensive orthodontic treatment. A dental appliance that discourages thumb sucking can help you avoid costly orthodontic treatments down the road. A retainer or similar device can change the way it feels for the child to have their finger in their mouth, therefore breaking the habit. Typically, thumb-sucking prevention gear is worn for several months minimum to make sure the habit is broken.

Dental Headgear

Headgear is another preventative orthodontic option uses to fix the way a child’s upper and lower molars fit together. Headgear can also be used to make more space for the alignment of permanent teeth. Headgear is typically only required to be worn in the home and at night while your child sleeps.

Should You Consider Preventative Orthodontics?

The only way to know for sure if your child can benefit from preventative orthodontics is to bring them in to see us. During a consultation at Brandon Family Dental in Ortonville, MI, Dr. Harrell and our experienced and friendly staff members can examine your child’s teeth, gums, and bone to look for any potential issues that can be fixed with preventative orthodontics.

We find it incredibly beneficial to get a good idea of when or if your child may need braces and the best way to ensure they have healthy teeth that look great.

To learn more about preventative orthodontics, call our Ortonville, MI dentist office today. You can schedule a consultation by calling (248) 469-0218. You can also fill out our online form. We look forward to hearing from you!