Interceptive orthodontics

What is interceptive orthodontics?

In interceptive orthodontics , we identify and treat crooked teeth as soon as they are detected. According to the American Academy of Orthodontics, all children should have an orthodontic assessment no later than 7 years old.

How is interceptive orthodontics done?

Every child’s condition is different and treatment will be different too. Treatment can be done with at least ONE or a combination of the following:

  1. Removable appliances (eg. expansion screws, springs, labial bows)
  2. Oromyofunctional therapy ( Myobrace + oral exercises to train good oral posture. Read below for more information on oro-myofunctional therapy)
  3. Braces (Depending on suitability, braces can be started earlier to gain more space for teeth in the jaws hence avoiding the need for pulling teeth out in the future)

1. Upper removable appliances (URA)

As it’s name implies, this treatment typically uses a plastic appliance that can be worn on and removed from the teeth. There are many types of removable appliances available and they are custom made according the child’s teeth. Often, we use springs or expansion screws to move teeth. Below are some examples of removable appliances.

2. Oro-Myofunctional Therapy (OMT)

How does Oro-Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) work?
OMT is a pre-braces treatment suitable only for growing children. The treatment aims to improve growing children’s cranial and jaw development by treating the underlying causes of crooked teeth and poor oral posture.

OMT can also improve a child’s general health and prevent Sleep Breathing Disorders.

This treatment involves using a series of removable intra-oral appliances (Myobrace) that are worn for 1-2 hours each day plus overnight while sleeping.

OMT also requires a child to do several oral exercises to train the strength of their lips and tongue and improve their nasal breathing. These exercises are very fun and parents are encouraged to get involved too!

The intra-oral appliance works by correcting poor oral habits that cause negative impacts on the development of face, jaws and teeth, such as mouth breathing, incorrect tongue position, thumb sucking, bottle feeding and swallowing incorrectly.

What Causes Crooked Teeth?

Many Malaysian children are growing up with crooked teeth. This is evidence of poor development of craniofacial structures. Traditional orthodontic treatment such as extractions and braces after waiting for all permanent teeth to come through actually focus on moving teeth without treating the underlying cause for crooked teeth.

Modern research has shown that crowded teeth, incorrect jaw development and other orthodontic problems are not caused by big teeth and small jaws or genetic factors. Rather, it is due to poor myofunctional habits (poor oral habits) like mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, reverse swallowing and thumb sucking that can be evident since the first years of life.

The craniofacial structures develop correctly only when children have the following 4 patterns for straight teeth:

1. Lips together at rest

2. Tongue resting at the roof of the mouth

3. Breathing through the nose (NOT the mouth!)

4. Correct swallowing method (No lip/cheek movement)

Here at Prestige Dental Care, we provide early intervention options for children that improve the underlying cause of crooked teeth with Oro-Myofunctional therapy.

What Oro-Myofunctional therapy does:

Corrects poor oral habits

Develops & aligns the jaws

Straightens the teeth

Optimises facial development

Improves overall health

Promotes healthy eating habits

How does it do this?

By helping the child:

  • Breathe through the nose
  • Swallow correctly
  • Correct his/her tongue posture
  • Keep lips together

Oro-MyoFunctional Training Exercises

How to wear MyoBrace Appliance/MRC Trainer?
Training 1 – Resting Position, Correct Swallow, Breathing Awareness
Training 2 – Drinking, Paces, Remembering game
Training 3 – Lip training, Continuous drinking, Nose opening
Training 4 – Yawning, Water seal, Tongue clicks
Training 5 – Squirt water bottle, Skinny Tongue
Training 6 – Kick, Gargling, Straw drinking

More info

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