Orthodontists specialize in treatments to prevent or reduce the
severity of developing malocclusions by maintaining the quality of an
otherwise healthy developing oral structure. When an issue is noticed
earlier, treatment can be shorter and less expensive compared to future
developments that are left untreated.
Common preventative treatments include:
Primary teeth assist in guiding permanent teeth into position. When
lost early due to accidents or dental disease, a space maintainer may be
required. If the space is not maintained, other neighboring teeth may
shift and drift into their place, preventing the permanent tooth from
erupting or causing crowding and/or misalignment when it does.
A space maintainer is an orthodontic appliance that keeps the space
open so that the permanent tooth can erupt into its natural position. It
is a simple device that can save your child many months of future
Crowding may be prevented or reduced if treatment begins while the
permanent front teeth are erupting (around six years of age). This can
be done by creating more space for the teeth and allowing natural
alignment to occur. Ask our doctors about a space analysis to find out
if this is a preventative option for your child.
Occasionally a primary tooth does not fall out when it supposed to or
simply does not fall out on itís own at all. In these cases, the
permanent tooth can grow in the wrong location because it does the
primary tooth has not been pushed out of the space. If this is the case,
then it may be necessary to extract the primary tooth to allow the
proper eruption and spacing location of the permanent tooth.
Extensive thumb sucking can cause the upper teeth or jaw to tip
forward and can result in a serious overbite that requires extensive
orthodontic treatment. With the use of a dental appliance that
discourages thumb sucking, future costly orthodontic treatment may be
Headgear is a preventive option used is to correct the way the upper
and lower molars fit with each other. It can also be used to create
additional space for permanent teeth alignment. Headgear is primarily
worn in the home and at night during sleep.
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