16 FOCUS - JANUARY 2018 Early Intervention for Orthodontics from Dr. Boyko 462 Paxton Street, Port Perry Located across from the hospital in the Medical Associates building 905-985-8459 www.dentistportperry.com EVENING APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards PORTPERRYSTAR BEST DENTAL OFFICE Look at yearbook or prom pictures from the 1950s or ‘60s and you’ll see many smiles framed with heavy metal braces. It’s a sight that’s less common in high schools today. Why the change? Children today tend to get braces at a much earlier age. Some patients with special problems begin orthodontic treatment at age 7 or younger. Dr. Robert Boyko, orthodontist says that early preventative treatment and problems can be caught. He can determine what orthodontic treatment, if any, may be needed either now or in the future. To make braces more acceptable and fun for young people, manufacturers have made brightly coloured elastics.These are the tiny rubber bands that hold the wires to the braces. Children can choose elastics with their school colours or a holiday colour scheme, such as orange and black for Halloween. Dr. Boyko says “Choosing the colour of the elastics allows patients to feel that they are more involved in their treatment,” Braces today tend to be less visible than they used to be. But they still take some getting used to. Food can get caught around brackets and in wires, and flossing and brushing can take more time. Orthodontic treatment in young children is known as interceptive orthodontics.Intervention may begin as early as age 6 or 7. At this age,teeth are still developing. The jaw is still growing.That means certain conditions, such as crowding,may be easier to address. Before permanent teeth have come in, it may be possible to help teeth to erupt (emerge through the gums) into better positions. It’s common, for example, for the dental arch to be too small to fit all of the teeth. A few decades ago, the solution for crowding was almost always to extract some of the permanent teeth to make space.Then fixed braces were used to position the teeth properly. Early intervention takes advantage of the fact that a child’s jaw is still growing. For example, a device called a palatial expander may be used to expand the child’s upper dental arch. Once the arch is the proper size, there’s a better chance that the adult teeth will emerge in better position. Sometimes teeth still may be crowded after all of them have erupted. In such cases, some permanent teeth may still have to be extracted to make room to align the teeth properly. So-called early treatment also may be useful when the dental arches and jaws are not in the correct position. Functional appliances may fix or improve these problems. More treatment usually is needed later on, but it may be shorter and less involved. “It is important to note that children who receive interceptive orthodontics generally still need braces or other orthodontic appliances later, however, this early treatment may shorten and simplify future treatment in selected cases.” This is commonly known as two-phase treatment. Dr. Boyko says it is important to note that early treatment does not apply to all orthodontic problems. However, it may help in certain cases. Book an appointment with Dr. Boyko for the health of your child’s teeth today.