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As a preteen child’s young month erupts the teeth can present as crooked and misplaced. Typically this is caused by overcrowding and it can be resolved.
The solution is often simple. The crowding can be treated by using an expandable and removable orthotic appliance. The appliance gradually and gently expands the child’s arch form and contour.
As much as two teeth spaces can be created using this process and greatly reduce overcrowding.
Often the child is too young for braces and extraction should generally be discouraged. When the adult molars are through at 7 or 8 years of age treatment should commence.
At the end of the treatment the child’s re-shaped mouth is well prepared for their full adult teeth to fit into place.
The goal is to gradually reform the patient’s narrow arches to become more well rounded arch forms with a flatter palate. This typically reduces crowding and allows for easier breathing. Also bite correction can be included in the therapy.
A course of treatment is normally less than a year and can be only 7 months. Many appliances are expandable with small screws which are turned every few days. This creates the gentle pressure that is necessary for proper jaw development.
The first step involves creating a precise oral impression mould. From these moulds an upper and lower appliance is created called plates. These are installed, reviewed and regularly adjusted by the dentist.
At the end of the treatment braces may no longer be required and a fuller smile can result. If the adult teeth later come into the mouth crooked then braces will straighten them quite easily as all the hard work has already been done by the plates.