Elaine Lim Orthodontist Clinic Services: Child Dental Development Assessment

Dental and jaw developmental abnormalities can be detected during childhood growth. It has been shown that dental developmental issues can become more complicated with increased age. For the most ideal intervention strategies and to achieve best possible outcomes it is essential that children are screened 'early'.

The first visit to Dr Elaine Lim can be at any age if there is a parental or health professional concern. Most parents bring their children in for an orthodontic screening by 7-8 years old, because at this age existing or potential conditions which may not be conductive to normal growth and development can be detected.

The following are some early signs and common problems which may indicate a child is in need of an orthodontic assessment:
- Lack of spacing between baby teeth
- Crowded or overlapping teeth
- Large centre gap between erupting adult front teeth
- Poorly shaped teeth
- Delayed or disturbed sequence of tooth eruption
- Early, late or uneven loss of teeth
- Teeth growing in the wrong direction
- Mouth breathing
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Thumb sucking
- Jaws that protrude or receded
- Jaw joint pain or noises
- Speech problems
- Teeth biting gums or cheeks
- Grinding or clenching
- Accident involving the face or tooth trauma

The American Association of Orthodontists is a leading authority and recommends that all children should be screened for dental development by 7 years old. At this age the development of the teeth and jaws is at a critical stage.

Treatment may be indicated for the following reasons:
- To reduce the need to extract permanent teeth
- Influence jaw growth in a positive manner
- Reduce the need for jaw surgery
- Lower risk to trauma of protruding front teeth
- To correct harmful oral habits
- Normalisation of lip and tongue function
- To assist speech development
- To improve aesthetics and self-esteem

Treatment of young children can produce wonderful changes. Whilst for other children observation may be all that is needed.

Dr Elaine Lim offers parents the opportunity of starting orthodontic treatment early, when your child still has a mix of baby and erupting adult teeth. This approach differs from traditional braces and extraction methods applied to many high school children.

Many parents seek Dr Elaine Lim's specialist techniques for 'early intervention', as research has shown by improving correct foundations and re-directing poor facial development there is an increased chance that the adult teeth can be guided into a better relationship, avoiding adult tooth extractions or surgery, which may be required if treatment is delayed.

Being screened at an early age means 'simple' intervention strategies can be implemented to benefit your child's long term dental health. Monitoring will also be provided to ensure your child's dental orthodontic progress and growth remains healthy.