Growth modification teeth straightening in Southampton
As an adult, surgery and extractions might be required if your jaw is misaligned – but in children, dentists can take advantage of growing jawbones and begin to align them before they harden permanently. Growth modification braces, or functional braces, exert gentle pressure over time, pulling teeth into the correct position. They are particularly suited to children, and the optimum time for treatment is between the ages of 7 and 13 years old.
Also called a functional brace, a growth modification brace consists of a plastic base worn inside the mouth, with metal clips positioned over the teeth. It is larger than a removable brace and so can take a little while to get used to. It must be worn constantly, but can be removed for cleaning.
Taking advantage of that crucial growing period that occurs between the ages of 7 and 13, growth modification braces are able to gently broaden the palate and widen the jaw, making room for adult teeth – dramatically reducing the need for extractions.
At Octagon Dental Centre, your family dentist will consult with you in depth to discuss individual treatment time, but on average growth modification braces are worn for around 10-12 months.
Growth modification braces are a short-term experience that will lead to a lifelong healthy smile – but they do take a bit of getting used to. Initially your child will find the plastic base makes it difficult to speak and eat easily, and may experience an increase in saliva – but this discomfort will soon wear off. The other inconvenience of a functional brace is the need to clean it regularly – not following the orthodontist’s instructions may lead to longer treatment times.