Growth & Development

When Should Your Child Visit The Dentist?

An Intro To Orthotropics

Orthotropics specializes in correcting the alignment of teeth by guiding the growth of the facial bones and correcting the spacing and position of the teeth. This allows more space for the teeth and tongue and is able to correct a patients oral and head posture. This is achieved by improving muscle tone, correcting facial posture and teaching correct swallowing patterns. Stumpf Dental uses a variety of different removable appliances that help with these corrections.

Check out this article that talks about orthotropic's place in the orthodontic profession

How is Orthotropics different from Orthodontics?

Orthodontic techniques correct crooked teeth after all the permanent teeth are in place. They use retraction of the teeth, expansion of the palate and occasionally extractions of teeth to move teeth into alignment. This usually takes place around age 11-13.

Orthotropic techniques strive to diagnose growth problems while the primary teeth are still in place, correct bad habits and guide growth so that teeth naturally align and the overall health of the child is improved. Early treatment is best and can be as early as age 3 in some instances. Usually treatment is started by age 5 for best results.

Why start so early?

We have learned that malocclusion is often a sign of more significant health concerns that we can also diagnose and treat. Starting at a young age, children are experiencing vertical facial growth as a result of holding their mouth open out of necessity to breath. The result is a receded chin and a “flat” looking profile. Some causes that can contribute to this are allergies and sleep apnea. (Sometimes due to enlarged tonsils) Early recognition allows us to treat and correct the abnormal growth pattern.

The mystery is in the history.

Symptoms that might prompt us to evaluate a child’s growth include mouth breathing, sleep apnea, snoring(not loud like daddy), clenching or grinding of teeth, dark circles under the eyes, posture(neck extension), teeth crowding, hyperactivity issues such as ADD or ADHD, and bed wetting. All of these may indicate less than ideal oxygenation. When children can’t breathe well and don’t get the oxygen that they need there can be numerous health consequences.

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