Read Here Why Dr. Walters Feels It Is Important To Evaluate Children For Orthodontics At An Early Age:
Our treatment objective is not only to straighten teeth but also to balance the face and jaws. The soft tissues of the oral complex (tongue, lips, cheeks, tonsils, and adenoids) play a very important role in facial growth and development. Children who have trouble breathing through their noses can have unfavorable facial growth. Likewise, oral habits such as thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting can deform the jaws and prevent the face from growing normally. As one of the strongest muscles in the body, the tongue helps to form the shape of the jaws. If the tongue and lips are not in the proper position, they can place uneven pressure on the teeth, causing and/or contributing to misaligned teeth and jaws.
We believe that patients require the cause of their misaligned teeth and jaws to be addressed to ensure lasting results with orthodontics. Such treatment can involve several avenues. Very often, we will coordinate care with an ENT if the patient has trouble breathing through his or her nose. We can use appliances that expand the jaws as well as the airway to not only straighten teeth but also improve a child’s quality of life, allowing him or her to breathe and sleep better. Many patients, especially those with oral habits, require myofunctional therapy. This includes guided exercises of the tongue, cheeks, and lips to help strengthen these muscles and encourage the jaws to grow properly. The tongue and lips can exert up to ten times the amount of pressure on teeth that braces can. Therefore, it is important to address any dysfunction of the soft tissue during treatment in order to increase the stability of our result.
Whatever is determined to be the appropriate treatment, time is of the essence; treating a child while he or she is still growing allows us to maximize our results. Dutchess Orthodontics is located in Hopewell Junction, NY, and serves the surrounding towns of Lagrange, Wappingers, Poughkeepsie, Pleasant Valley, Hyde Park, Fishkill, Beacon, and beyond!