child orthodontics  こども の きょうせい

 One of the best things that one can inherit is one’s health right? Having naturally straighter teeth is also a good thing to inherit. If one is not lucky enough to have straight teeth, having seeing an Orthodontist early can help to alleviate larger problems down the line. We, at Nakamozu Orthodontic Clinic would be happy to consult with you should you think your child is having crooked teeth.

Possible causes of crooked teeth

“Malocclusion (crooked teeth) is developmental condition.” (Proffit, 2007)

1. Genetic Influences:
 It is often easy to recognize family traits by such things as the tilt of the nose, the shape of the jaw and the look of a smile. Along the same vein, it is also apparent that certain types of crooked teeth also run in the family.

2. Environmental Influences:
 If a tooth is subjected to a continuous force, it may move. Normally, teeth are in a state of equilibrium with forces from lips, cheeks and tongue cancelling each other out. However, when this equilibrium is upset, it may cause a tooth or teeth to move.
Problems in the nasal cavity could cause teeth problems as well. It has been known for a long time that a nasal obstruction affects the muscles used for swallowing and chewing and this could (as stated above) throw off the equilibrium common in the mouth.
Lastly, some people swallow in such as way that places the tongue in between the front teeth. This causes what is referred to as an “open bite pattern” and could cause misalignment of the teeth. (see photos below)

( Reference; William Proffit: Contemporary Orthodontics, 4th edition,St Louis, p17,p130, 2007, Mosby.)

Injuly prevention for teeth

 Kids often strike teeth. There is almost one chance in three of an injury to a protruding upper front teeth. Most of the time, if the front teeth are hit, the result is only minor chips in the enamel which could result in a tooth fracture. However a more serious injury could be a deadening of the tooth’s nerve. Most of the accidents occur during normal activity, not in sports. (Proffit, 2007) With early treatment for children with mild to severe protruding front teeth, the risk of injury is decreased and thus we recommend having a consultation early to assess the various options available.

Tips on child orthodontics

 All the baby teeth, generally speaking, will have been replaced with permanent teeth for 10 years. If, when the permanent teeth come in, they are crooked or have a problem, Orthodontic treatment can help this in 2 phases.

 Phase 1 usually starts between the ages of 7 and 12. As a child grows, so do the bones of the jaw and mouth. By working with the child from an earlier age, as problems occur, they can be met and fixed. This helps to eliminate large necessary changes down the line by, using orthodontics, making small changes little by little. This also helps to eliminate the need to pull teeth at a later date (and who likes that?).

 Phase 2 starts after the adult teeth have come in. Using specialized orthodontic equipment, we can work closely with each individual tooth to, as a whole, make all the teeth look better. After this phase, all the teeth will have a straight appearance and will work together to help in chewing, biting and yes, even smiling.

 In the US, the recent trend is to only go to an Orthodontist after the adult teeth have come in. That is, Phase 1 is skipped and only Phase 2 is looked at. As mentioned before, by not working with the child from early on, this can cause larger problems that may include having to have teeth pulled and more trauma to the teeth. We recommend that you look into Orthodontics early because this can now give you two choices (start with Phase 1 or not). If you wait, the only choice would be the Phase 2 option.

The flow chart of phase 1 - 2 treatment