Orthodontics & Functional Orthopedics
Though Orthopedics is still considered a part of Orthodontics, it is usually initiated earlier in life in an attempt to assure better facial growth and jaw structure in later life. We know that only 18-20% of malocclusion in children is based on genes. This means that the rest of the 80% of poor bites are caused by environmental factors. These can include allergies, poor tongue position, mouth breathing, or enlarged tonsils and adenoids. These factors influence the developing lower face from early childhood, almost from birth. Counteracting these negative influences early allows for more normal development. Early functional therapy can improve your child’s development, often discouraging poor sleep habits, mouth breathing, and a slow physical growth pattern. Functional orthopedic therapies are usually of a short duration therapy and can involve the use of removable appliances. It also often removes the need for more extensive therapy (braces).
Functional Orthopedics can help younger patients avoid the conditions that may have affected their parents, such as, poor sleep habits, sleep apnea, T.M.J. pain, small lower jaws (a weak chin), and proud upper teeth (buck teeth) that can contribute to poor self-image.
Orthodontics involves the use of braces that are bonded to the teeth. They let us to control the teeth so that their relationship to one another and can fine-tuned, creating a beautiful smile.