Knoxville and Maryville, TN
Is orthodontics such as braces in your child’s future? If so, extractions may also be part of the treatment plan. For nearly 50 years, orthodontists have commonly extracted teeth to make room for straightening teeth by way of orthodontics. The idea was that the jaw does not grow past puberty, but that is not what research shows us today.
The jaw, in fact, can grow after puberty. The problem that we are now seeing in patients that underwent tooth extractions to make way for their orthodontics is that they are more likely to suffer serious health consequences such as sleep apnea. Orthodontic extractions may seem harmless, but it does, in fact, alter the physiology of the face and airway, which is why these individuals are at a higher risk for sleep apnea.
When the physiology of the mouth are altered, for instance by extractions, changes can occur in the face, oral posture, and airway. This should be a concern because your child’s looks could change unfavorably, and changes in their oral posture could result in needing orthodontics again later in life, or airway problems such as sleep apnea. Although sleep apnea is often associated with middle-aged men who are overweight, we are seeing more cases occur in the younger population, even children! The results could be detrimental on their development. Plus, these negative consequences do not go away, and usually manifest into chronic conditions that linger into adulthood.
If you are a parent of a child that is facing extractions for orthodontic purposes, take the time to ask the orthodontist these questions.
You may find his or her answers warrant a second opinion before you proceed with treatment for your child.
- How can you change my child’s looks to be more attractive, and is this necessary in my child’s case?
- Can you tell me if my child’s oral posture is correct?
- How well is my child breathing?
- Is my child’s tongue in the correct position?
- Does my child’s airway development concern you?
- Will my child’s orthodontic treatment cause sleep apnea later in life?
You should be asking these questions of your child’s orthodontist and dentist. Simply going with the “old school” method of treating children with crowded teeth is not always in their best interest in the long run.
It is certainly possible to attain beautiful results with orthodontics without the need for extractions. At Crestview Dental Care, we focus on facial guidance from an early age, which allows us to make changes to your child’s teeth before the jawbone is fully developed. This means we can eliminate the need to extract teeth during adolescence. Not only does extracting teeth for orthodontics increase a child’s risk of develop sleep apnea, but it also can alter their looks in an unfavorable manner.
For more information, please contact Crestview Dental Care today by calling (865) 982-1700 to schedule a consultation and possible airway evaluation.
Crestview Dental Care is here to serve patients in the areas of Knoxville and Maryville in east Tennessee.