15 Apr What is Healthy Start?
Healthy Start is a treatment system that can address orthodontic concerns and sleep disordered breathing in young children. This treatment option involves children wearing custom-made and comfortable oral appliances. Our family dentist offers Healthy Start to remedy the effects of sleep disordered breathing and orthodontic issues such as crowded, gapped, and crooked teeth.
What is sleep disordered breathing?
Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) occurs when dental arches and/or the jaws form incorrectly. Malformed jaws and dental arches can affect a child’s breathing patterns – particularly during sleep. Untreated SDB could manifest symptoms such as snoring, low energy, ADHD, bed wetting, nightmares, and allergies. In fact, SDB affects children the way that sleep apnea affects adults.
Healthy Start helps address SDB by utilizing custom oral appliances that take advantage of still-developing jaws and dentition by correcting the width of dental arches, the alignment of the jaws, and the placement of teeth.
What are Healthy Start oral appliances?
The appliances used in Healthy Start treatment are made of flexible, clear plastic. Each appliance is made to address a child’s specific needs. These appliances are comfortable to wear and easy to clean.
How can Healthy Start correct the positions of teeth?
Healthy Start operates on the same principles of fixed orthodontia. By applying gentle but consistent force, these appliances can move teeth to healthier positions. Fortunately, children’s jaws and dentition are still developing, which makes it much easier to treat their orthodontic concerns when compared to a teenager or an adult.
How long does Healthy Start treatment take?
Treatment times can vary from patient to patient. Healthy Start treatment is normally broken up into phases.
The first phase is known as the “habit correcting” phase, which addresses habitual behaviors like thumb sucking that could affect the placement of teeth and the alignment of the jaws. The second phase involves wearing appliances that guide incoming teeth to healthy positions while widening dental arches, and positioning the jaws. The last phase is dedicated to ensuring that remaining adult teeth emerge correctly.
If you have questions about Healthy Start, call our practice to reserve an appointment with our family dentist.