Orthodontic Plates: A modern solution to a modern problem

Did you know that crooked teeth are a relatively modern dental affliction? It is now widely accepted that a number of modern environmental and behavioural circumstances can have detrimental effects on the proper growth and development of our jaws. Crooked teeth and unusual bites are often just a symptom of these under developed jaws!

While most patients (and parents) are only concerned with crooked teeth, improper jaw development can have some wider health ramifications. Scientific evidence suggests a link between underdeveloped jaws and such airway issues as snoring and sleep apnoea. It has also been linked to chronic pain syndromes such as temporomandibular disorder (TMD). In severe cases, the physical and mental development of a growing child may be hampered as a result of the above.

Traditionally, children are left to develop in these abnormal growth patterns until they reach adolescents before orthodontic treatment begins. Unfortunately, at this time, the skull is fully formed and the only way to achieve straight teeth is through invasive dental extractions. This can even have negative impacts on the facial appearance creating a “sunken in” look.

Our philosophy is to work WITH growth to develop the jaws to their natural potential. We achieve this through the use of growth appliances or plates. In this way, we are able to make room for the adult teeth, thus simplifying or even preventing the need for braces! Our ultimate goal is to avoid dental extractions where possible, and encourage the development of a pleasing facial profile as nature intended.

Have you noticed the following in your child?

– Crooked or bucky front teeth
– Unusual bites such as underbites or open bites
– Delayed loss of baby teeth and/or missing adult teeth
– Habits such as thumb sucking and prolonged dummy use
– Heavy breathing/snoring or grinding during sleep
– Chronic mouth breathing

These have all been linked to improper jaw formation and indicates that your child will benefit from an early pre-orthodontic screening with one of our orthodontically trained dentists.

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