Types of Early orthodontic Treatments: Growth modifications
On our Early orthodontics page we have discussed various types of treatments that can help your child if his jaw is still growing.
Types of early orthodontic treatments are:
- Thumb sucking habit cessation
- Interceptive extractions
- Growth modification (Functional/ myofunctional braces)
In this blog post, Dr. Amina will talk about thumb sucking habit cessation.
This treatment uses functional/ myofunctional appliances to enhance the growth of the lower jaw, and correct issues with the bite and also improve the profile.
We know that these braces don’t work by “growing” the lower jaw. They actually enhance any growth potential, but move the teeth in blocks.
This is type of treatment is most successful before or during the adolescent growth spurt. In girls this is from 10-13 years and in boys from 11-14 years.
They are most commonly used to correct class II problems – where the lower jaw is smaller. This makes the chin look small and the upper teeth more prominent.
The most popular design is the twinblock. This is a removable type that has an upper and lower component. These two components interlock and hold the jaw in more forward position.
Other types of myofunctional braces are also available ,these include Myobraces and fixed types. Your orthodontist will advise you on which is best suited for your child.
What are the benefits of growth modification treatment?
- Correcting the primary problem, by correcting the lower jaw. This cannot be done with fixed braces
- Improving the profile
- Potentially avoiding the need for extractions
- A gentle introduction to orthodontic treatment, especially if your child is anxious
Will treatment with a functional appliance always be successful?
If the brace is worn sufficiently and the patient is still growing – then yes!
However, if there is insufficient wear or a patient is older than 14 years, then chances of success are reduced. If this is the case your orthodontist will discuss alternative treatment options. These include:
- In mild – moderate cases: Accepting the overjet and only aligning teeth
- In moderate cases – considering braces and extractions
- In severe cases or where the patient has facial concerns – jaw surgery