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Many Problems Are Easily Corrected When Identified & Treated Early

early treatment

EVANSTON & KENILWORTH, ILLINOIS – For many parents, the line between being overly protective and cavalier is a fine one.

On one hand, you know you shouldn’t run to the dentist for every little toothache your child experiences. On the other hand, you don’t want your child to face a serious orthodontic issue and let it go untreated for too long. But how do you know when to react and when to let it slide?

Our Kenilworth and Evanston adult orthodontics office follows the recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontists and promotes the importance of having your children evaluated by age 7.

It is true that sometimes Dr. Michael Stosich sees children as young as 9-months-old at the hospital when cleft lip and palate are present, but these are unique circumstances.
Age 7 is the recommendation unless unique complications exist.

Following are several bite and alignment issues that can effectively be treated when identified early in your child.

An anterior open bite is most commonly caused by poor oral habits, including sucking the thumbs or fingers and tongue thrust. Dental open bites may close spontaneously as your child grows, but skeletal open bites intensify with growth and often require orthodontics and orthognathic surgery to correct.

“As a parent, you don’t want to guess which type of open bite your child has,” says Dr. Stosich, who also is a Kenilworth, IL Invisalign provider. “You want an orthodontist to provide an accurate diagnosis so we can formulate an appropriate treatment plan, should one be deemed necessary.”

At age 7, a child’s bite is established and an orthodontist can identify subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some of the baby teeth remain present. This way, treatment and the child’s natural growth can be used together to achieve an ideal result.

Tongue thrust is a behavioral pattern in which the tongue protrudes through the front teeth when a person swallows, speaks and while the tongue is at rest. Almost all young children do this, but they outgrow it by about age 6. If it persists by age 7, this is something you should bring to your orthodontist’s attention.

Deviant swallow often results from a blocked airway caused by enlarged tonsils, adenoids or from allergies. Secondary causes include dental alignment issues, excessive thumb-sucking, and clenching or grinding the teeth.

This is another situation in which it’s a good idea to have an orthodontist look at your child’s teeth. Braces or other orthodontic treatment can correct the alignment issues and often correcting the swallowing pattern.

“These are very treatable problems that are safe and predictable to correct,” Dr. Stosich says. “Identifying and treating early when necessary is one of the most effective things you can do in terms of cost.”

© 2013 Dr. Michael Stosich. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Dr. Michael Stosich is credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.



  • Michael S. Stosich, DMD, MS, MS

    Dr. Michael Stosich is a board-certified orthodontist and the director of orthodontics at the University of Chicago Medicine. He is known for his extensive experience in leading clinical enterprises, publishing, and lecturing both in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Stosich has expertise in starting, growing, and maintaining successful orthodontic practices, including those in pediatric dentistry, general dentistry, and multi-specialty clinics. He serves on the editorial board of several publications and has been involved in innovating patient care and education, focusing on the future of dental and orthodontic healthcare.


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