Orthodontics Townsville

Want to know how you can save costs on your child's dental bill? Early intervention not only does this, but is also key to ensuring your child's oral health. Call our practice today on (07) 4755 2055.

Early Intervention

Conventional methods of orthodontics generally suggest that treatment is not started until all adult teeth are present. We believe in assessing children as young as 6 years old, especially when there are concerns about crowding or less than ideal facial balance. At this age the jaw is still growing and developing. Intervention treatments such as wearing removable plates and doing oral posture exercises can help grow the jaw into the correct position. This creates room for all the teeth to grow into and often results in a pleasing facial profile.

Why early intervention:

  • Improved facial balance can be attained in a lot of cases compared to if they were treated when all their adult teeth had erupted.
  • The need for braces to straighten and align teeth can be reduced or often eliminated.
  • The need for extraction of adult teeth can often be eliminated as space can be created to fit all teeth.
  • Severe health issues such as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea can be recognized and treated before permanent damage is done, as an increased forward development of the face can be achieved, resulting in an improved airway.

Oral Posture

Correct oral posture is critical for the growth and development of a child’s jaws and facial balance. Correct oral posture means:

  • The tongue is on the roof of the mouth when at rest.
  • The teeth are slightly apart or lightly touching.
  • The lips are together with no strain.
  • Breathing is through the nose.

More often than not, if a child shows normal oral posture, their face will develop with balance according to their genetic plan. Your teeth are in a constant equilibrium with the forces around them, and when there is balance between the forces of the tongue, cheeks and lips, the teeth tend to erupt in good position and alignment.

When the tongue remains in a low position and lips apart at rest, teeth often are crowded, excessive gum may be displayed when smiling, the jaws become recessive and small, and the face appears long.  The severity of these changes in jaw and facial balance vary depending on the magnitude of oral posture departing from the ideal.

It is also well know that the instability of an orthodontic treatment has a strong connection with the distance the lips are apart at rest. To straighten misaligned teeth and overlook the oral posture imbalances is simply treating a symptom and ignoring a cause.

Airway

The greatest influence in a child’s facial development is a sufficient airway. If the child does not have a patent airway, they become chronic mouth-breathers and thus have poor oral posture.  Obstruction of the nasal airway due to enlarged adenoids and tonsils, or sinus problems associated with allergies are the biggest causes of mouth-breathing in children. Adenoids and tonsils are often enlarged and obstructing the airway, without the presence of infection and pain.

The facial growth of a chronic mouth-breathing child moves from a downward and forward direction to a downward and backward direction leading to a long lower face and recessive chin. This direction of growth leads to smaller jaws which in turn leads to smaller airways. As a result, the chances of the child developing Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is greatly increased, especially as they become older, have diminished muscle tonicity, and if they gain excessive weight.

To help improve your child’s airway and achieve correct oral posture, we will work together with your General Medical Practitioner and/or an ENT Specialist (ear, nose and throat doctor) to eliminate the cause of the obstruction, whether it be allergy testing and steroidal nasal sprays, or surgical removal of enlarged and/or inflamed adenoids and tonsils.

It has also been shown in cases where jaw expansion is necessary, nasal airway capacity increases of up to 30% can be obtained. This is especially important when treating OSA in children as this can sometimes lead to avoidance of invasive surgical procedures.

Orthodontics Cost

How much do braces cost?

The total cost of your orthodontics treatment will depend on the extent of the treatment required and your individual circumstances. The easiest way to get an idea of the total cost will be to have a consultation with one of our dentist. Please contact our practice to arrange your appointment.