At Eastern Suburbs Orthodontics we recommend early assessment of children by our Specialist Orthodontist from the age of 9 years. It is at this age that the facial template for adulthood can be determined.
Early treatment has significant physical, mental and psychological benefits for growing patients. The aim of treatment is to balance the facial structure during growth and to improve the quality of sleep. Treatment is usually performed with a plate worn at night time or a plate hidden in the roof of the palate, minimising the social impact.
A significant amount of growth and development occurs while children are asleep. Poor sleep quality, as opposed to quantity, occurs due to sinusitis, narrow airways, snoring, tooth grinding and mouth breathing. This affects growth and cognitive development (learning, thinking and memory) and leads to attention deficit and behavioural and learning difficulties in the school environment.
Early treatment removes the physical and biological barriers of breathing, which improves sleep quality, facial structure and enables children to reach their genetic growth potential. If treatment during the growth period is not performed then treatment in adulthood usually involves complicated surgical procedures.
Generally early treatment with a plate is used to treat the face in primary school and braces are used to treat the teeth in high school. However, if a patient’s self-esteem is compromised due to crooked teeth or there is risk of trauma to the teeth, early treatment with braces can be initiated on a short-term basis.
The benefit of early treatment is that it resolves facial, dental and biological issues in growing children and produces favourable and predictable outcomes.