Elaine Lim Orthodontics Clinic Services: Treatment of Children and Early Intervention

Dental developmental abnormalities in the teeth and jaws can be detected as soon as children grow teeth. It has been shown that dental developmental issues can become more complicated with increasing age. For the most ideal intervention strategies and to achieve best possible outcomes it is essential that children are screened 'early'.

The American Association of Orthodontists 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.

Dr Elaine Lim offers parents the opportunity of starting orthodontic treatment early, when a 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.

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 adult tooth eruption
- Early, late or uneven loss of baby teeth
- Teeth growing in the wrong direction
- Mouth breathing
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Thumb sucking
- Jaws that protrude or retrude
- Jaw joint pain or noises
- Speech problems
- Teeth biting gums or cheeks
- Grinding or clenching
- Accident involving the face or tooth trauma

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
- Normalise soft tissue, lip and tongue function
- To assist speech development
- To improve aesthetics and self-esteem

Treatment of young children can produce wonderful changes. No-braces options are available for orthodontic correction.

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.