Baby teeth serve an important role as “space savers” for the permanent teeth. If a baby tooth is lost early, serious orthodontic problems could occur. Fortunately, there are appliances that Dr. Staves can recommend to help hold the space until the permanent tooth is ready to come in!
From an early age, Dr. Staves will also evaluate your child’s bite and will review with you what to expect for your child’s growth. For example, if your child’s has a thumb or pacifier habit, Dr. Staves will recommend an expander or a habit appliance when the time is right to help improve your child’s bite! If Dr. Staves anticipates your child may be a candidate for braces, an orthodontic consult will be recommended at the appropriate time!
A habit appliance is useful to help stop a thumb or finger habit and/or to help re-train an improper tongue position or swallowing pattern. It is sometimes necessary to place an appliance to minimize the harm and distortion the habits or tongue posture can have on teeth. Most habit appliances are banded for adhesion to the back molars and are not removable.
Space maintainers are used to keep teeth from drifting into an empty tooth space due to early loss of primary (baby) teeth. Baby teeth act as a guide for the eruption of the permanent teeth. A space maintainer is made of stainless steel and/or plastic. It can be removable or fixed to the teeth.
Distalizer / Molar Rotation
Molar adjustment can be accomplished prior to full orthodontic treatment through the use of a Distalizer. This treatment technique can effectively position molars for bracketing and significantly shorten the patient’s full orthodontic treatment time.