Our Approach to Orthodontics
We believe that starting orthodontic treatment at a young age allows us to focus on proper growth & development, straightening teeth and training the facial muscles before permanent teeth are set. With early intervention we can reduce the need for your child to require braces or jaw surgery at a later stage.
One of our goals is no-extraction orthodontics. This results in beautiful balance and facial asymmetry, helping your patients look and feel their best.
We put a huge emphasis on preventing irregularities and improper growth as we have seen so many children with underdeveloped faces, resulting in crooked teeth. In some cases, this is due to genetics but at Alpers we know that improper dental care is a major contributing factor and is why we take an all-inclusive approach to dental care in our practice.
Early treatments can be active (e.g. correcting a cross-bite) or passive (e.g. holding the space from losing a primary tooth early). If we do advise treatment, it is typically with removable orthodontic plates.
We normally like to assess children from age 7 years which is when the adult upper front teeth have come through. It is possible to begin assessment or treatment earlier if there are already major bite issues such as an under-bite which can be treated as young as 4 years old.
By beginning orthodontics early, we can maintain or provide space for permanent teeth which allows them to grow straight. This minimises the need for more extensive and painful intervention later.
Signs your child may benefit from an orthodontic consultation at Alpers:
- Narrow upper dental arch
- Early or late loss of primary teeth (should normally lose teeth starting age 6 years and have all adult teeth age 13 years)
- Very crowded or spaced teeth
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that don't fit together properly
- Extra teeth
- Impacted teeth
- Speech impediments
- Prolonged thumb or finger sucking (past age 5 years)
During an orthodontic consultation we will carry out a full examination of your child's teeth, jaw and facial structure as well as x-ray. As early as age 6-7 years these assessments and images may reveal developing problems with alignment and growth.
Why do we use plates?
We use removable orthodontic plates for the majority of our patients, both children and adults. They are used to change the shape of the palate and jaws and to alleviate the crowded teeth, they are also used to correct bad bites.
Removable plates are usually worn full-time, including when eating, and are removed only when brushing the teeth.
These plates come in every colour imaginable and kids have a great time choosing theirs - making treatment fun!
If braces are required as part of your childs or your own treatment, we offer traditional metal braces.
Brackets are bonded to the front of the teeth and a metal wire is ran through them.
Metal braces are strong, durable and rarely break. Plus you don't have to worry about misplacing them.
Ceramic braces have the same size and shape brackets as traditional metal braces, but are tooth coloured or clear. Whist these are less noticeable than traditional braces, please remember that they are susceptible to staining from highly pigmented food and are more expensive.