Dentofacial Orthopedics – Part II
Dentofacial Orthopedics for Children – Optimal Timing
Children are typically better candidates for dentofacial orthopedics due to the fact that their jaws are still growing. Dr. AlJanabi will screen your child around the age of 8 or 9 to determine if your child could benefit from this type of therapy.
Between the ages of 9 and 11, children undergo significant growth, making this the ideal time to begin effective dentofacial orthopedic therapy. Dr. AlJanabi highly recommends these treatment options to solve problems such as:
- Overbites: when the lower jaw and teeth are behind the upper teeth when biting down
- Underbites: when the upper front teeth are behind the lower front teeth when biting down
- Crossbites: when the upper back teeth are too narrow compared to the lower teeth when biting down
It is important to fix these issues as they are known to cause lifelong symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, neck and shoulder pain, fatigue, sensitive teeth, as well as pain in the face or jaw. Furthermore, when the teeth do not align properly, it can make it difficult to chew and speak properly.
What Does Dentofacial Orthopedics Therapy Entail?
If it is determined that your child needs dentofacial orthopedics, therapy will likely involve two phases. The first phase would start while your child still has some baby teeth remaining, and simultaneously, some of their permanent, adult teeth have emerged. The goal would be to ensure the jaws are properly aligned. During the second phase, your child would wear traditional braces to help straighten their teeth. This combination of treatments will provide your child with a beautiful, healthy, well-aligned smile they can enjoy for the rest of their life.
There are various appliances used throughout the therapy treatment that will correct the position of the patient’s jaws and minimize imbalances in the facial and jaw alignment. Orthodontic appliances often used include:
- Palatal Expanders: these expand or widen the upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on the molars with each adjustment made. When the desired expansion is reached, the appliance will be worn for 12 months to keep it in place.
- Forsus Appliance: this will reduce an overbite and is typically worn for about 12-15 months.
- Twin Block and MARA Appliances: these are designed to correct overbites by holding the lower jaw in a forward position while muscles and bone both grow to support that positioning.
Make an Appointment Today
Trained in both orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, Dr. Mohamed AlJanabi is able to diagnose any misalignments in the teeth and jaw, as well as the facial structure, prior to this becoming a serious problem. If you have not brought your child in for an orthodontic evaluation, or if you feel their jaw may not be developing in proper alignment, request your complimentary consultation today. If your child requires dentofacial orthopedic or orthodontic treatment in Staten Island, we create a fully-customized treatment plan for your child.
Please contact us with any questions you may have, and be on the lookout for Part III in this series where we address dentofacial orthopedic treatment for adults.