If someone were to ask you why people seek orthodontic treatment, you likely would say that the main purpose is to straighten crooked teeth. However, you might be surprised to know that braces and other orthodontic treatments are about more than just a great smile. In fact, fixing a crooked smile might even be considered a secondary benefit to all of the other complications or bad habits that early orthodontic treatment can correct.
Early Orthodontic Treatment
Early orthodontic treatment often involves the use of a functional appliance, which is a tiny device similar to a retainer that can help your child’s jaw grow to its full potential. The device can also correct a number of health problems, symptoms, and bad oral habits.
What complications and bad habits can be corrected with early orthodontic treatment?
- Speech problems. It is possible that some speech problems arise when there isn’t enough room for the tongue. An oral appliance can expand the arch, giving the tongue more room. This can have a marked effect on speech problems.
- Mouth breathing or snoring. If your child breathes through their mouth only, they are not properly breathing. This can lead to a lack of oxygen, poor sleep, and more complications. And children should not snore. Oral appliances can improve nasal breathing which offers huge health benefits. And they can help to eliminate snoring, giving your child more restful sleep.
- Teeth grinding. Teeth grinding can hurt the teeth and contribute to headaches or even a painful disorder in your jaw called TMD (temporomandibular disorder). Early orthodontic treatment can stop a grinding habit.
- Thumb sucking. The bad habit of thumb sucking contributes to a bad bite. While an oral appliance works to make room for permanent teeth, it also discourages thumb sucking, as the thumb doesn’t fit in the mouth in the same way it used to. A win-win for the teeth and bite!
- Tongue thrust. If your child’s tongue protrudes from the mouth when swallowing, talking, or at rest, this is called tongue thrust. With so much swallowing during the day, this is a lot of unnecessary pressure on the teeth, pushing them out of alignment! A functional appliance can help put a stop to the habit.
- Headaches and earaches. A really bad bite can cause ear pain, and a deep bite may be overworking muscles causing headaches. Early orthodontics will help eliminate this unnecessary pain!
Does your child have a bad habit or a complication or symptom listed above? Visit our office for a free consultation to see if early orthodontic treatment can help. Make an appointment now.
Find out more
Learn more about early orthodontic treatment. Start with a consultation with Dr. Brock Rondeau & Associates in London, ON. Call for an appointment: (519) 455-4110.