Problems To Watch For
Orthodontists have received YEARS of additional training beyond dental school. They are specifically trained to identify problems that even a dentist is not able to recognize! This is why it is recommended that ALL children have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7.
Dental problems such as crossbites, crowding, underbites, overbites, open bites, impacted, and missing teeth are just some of the common problems orthodontic specialists treat on a daily basis.
You may also wish to visit our office if your child is exhibiting difficulty enunciating properly, or struggling to chew food comfortably.
What We Can Do
Using a variety of orthodontic techniques and devices, Drs. Karski and Spokane can correct both functional and aesthetic issues. A thumb wire can help your child overcome thumb sucking, and limited braces can correct the projection of protruding teeth. An expansion device can be used to widen the jaw and correct an open bite, which can reduce tongue thrusting. This type of appliance can also treat width or vertical jaw issues, an imbalance between the upper and lower jaw, and speech concerns. If your child has lost teeth early, we may place space maintainers to hold the arches in place and encourage permanent teeth to erupt properly. After treatment, a retainer can maintain your child's results.
Airway & Breathing
Orthodontic treatment can also help children experiencing open mouth breathing, snoring, sleep apnea, even allergies and other airway problems. During a child's developing years, an orthopedic appliance called a rapid palatal expander (RPE) to develop additional bone in the palate. By increasing the width of the palate, we are simultaneously increasing the width the airways, as the two are interconnected. Most of our opatients with these concerns have seen a huge improvement and are grateful to have normal breathing restored following treatment.
Our office has a specialized appliance made for children who suck their thumb or fingers. If you have tried to eliminate this difficult problem and failed, we have the perfect solution.
Sucking is a healthy reflexive response that is normal for babies. However, if the habit continues into childhood, there can be problems such as protrusion, open bites, overjets, and other issues.
The palate is extremely important in speech. High/narrow arches, crowded teeth, jaw misalignment, overjets, deep bites, and other issues can make saying certain sounds and letter combinations more difficult. Proper tongue position in the arch and against the teeth is critical in proper annunciation. We have had many patients with speech problems benefit from expanders.
Your first visit includes x-rays, photos, digital scans, 3D models, and a thorough evaluation. You will have all of the information needed to make an informed decision at no charge!
Problems are often revealed only through special x-rays. The patient photos above show a young patient that was waiting for their upper lateral incisors to erupt. An evaluation in our office revealed the canine teeth were at an angle and pushing on the roots of the permanent lateral teeth.
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