Chicagos leading pediatric dentist, Dr. Kevin L. Boyd MS, DDS, explains how early orthodontic treatment contributes to the health of a child. Dr. Boyd focuses on dentistry that contributes to the overall well being of children. His dental office in Chicago emphasizes teaching healthy eating patterns and proper oral health practices for children and families. Dr. Boyd has been practicing pediatric dentistry in Chicagos Lincoln Park area for more than 20 years. He has provided hundreds of children, with successful orthodontic treatment, and continues to be a leading clinician offering orthodontic treatment in Chicago.
It has become increasingly clear to the orthodontic and pediatric dentists in Chicago and across that nation that problems of all sorts, oral health inclusive, can be prevented if a healthy oral environment is present during a child’s formative stages of growth and development.
Pediatric dentists and Orthodontists widely accept that early orthodontic treatment are useful for correcting crossbites and making room for permanent teeth. Early orthodontic treatment can contribute to avoidance of more extensive corrective treatment as the child reaches adulthood. It can also contribute to a healthier self-esteem.
However, it’s also important to note another reason (in addition to correcting crossbites and making room for permanent teeth) why many orthodontists, pediatric dentists and general dentists who provide orthodontic services for children, recommend expansion of childrens palates when they are young. An adequately expanded palate provides an ideal environment for the tongue to rest The tongue is in rest when one is not using it for eating or talking. If the palate is too short and too narrow to accommodate the resting tongue, deviant swallowing and thrusting patterns can develop that can also lead to other problems such as:
1.) Orthodontic relapse in adolescence/adulthood
2.) Inability to close the lips at rest
3.) Chronic mouth breathing and other respiratory problems
4.) Susceptibility to developing a long facial appearance
Straight teeth can indeed be an indicative component of a healthy and attractive smile. Historically, a desire for straight teeth has been the primary reason for a person to seek orthodontic care. There is now, however, empirical and scientific evidence to support that, in addition to providing a good foundation for straight teeth, an adequately developed (i.e., expanded) palate can also provide a good foundation for optimal resting position of the tongue and commensurate healthy swallowing and nasal breathing patterns. Hopefully, early orthodontic treatment will someday be seen as, not only a means by which we can help a child have straight teeth, but also, as a treatment option that can help promote a normal resting tongue posture and healthy nasal breathing.