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Orthodontics… More Than Straight Teeth

Treatment for Pain, ADHD, and Snoring/Sleep Issues in both Children & Adults

More Than Straight TeethFrom the time we are born our mouth is functioning constantly to keep us alive. Breathing, eating, drinking, and communicating begin immediately. Over the course of our lives, the use of our mouths becomes part of our social interaction, relationships, laughter, smiles and love. The question often comes up as to how old a child should be to come into the dental office. Before their first birthday is a great time to start for both the child and the parent. The child starts to become comfortable with the dental office and if dental care is needed it can be given. The parent can begin to learn what the special needs of the child are and how to maintain the child’s dental health. In addition to the teeth, the dentist can begin to evaluate the child’s facial growth, possible airway obstruction due to tonsils and adenoids, crowding of teeth, oral hygiene and oral habits such as thumb sucking and speech disorders.

Orthodontics can be an important part of helping a child to grow and develop. Teeth that come in at the wrong time or in the wrong place are indications of problems in the development of the jaws, face, and airways. Finding these problems at an early age allows the dentist and other physicians to correct and prevent further health issues that are frequently seen in adults that were not treated during childhood.

Crowded and crooked teeth are frequently associated with tonsil and adenoid problems that can severely affect the child’s sleep and the development. Children & adults with large tonsils or obstructed airways often snore or have difficulty breathing at night and may have their sleep disrupted as a result. This can lead to challenges in school or work as well as children mistakenly being diagnosed and treated for Attention Deficit Disorders (i.e. ADD, ADHD). The large tonsils and obstructed airways can be detected with examination and CT scans that have become a routine part of our practice. The CT scan and digital photographs can also be used to evaluate development of the face and jaws and the need for orthodontics, if any. In many of these cases, we are as concerned with the growth of the facial bones, jaws, and airways as we are with how straight the teeth may be. Evaluation and treatment for these concerns are critical for the development of healthy, more confident children and adults.

Headaches & facial pain are other common problems associated with crooked teeth, night grinding, and other bite issues. Headaches & facial pains can occur as a result of the muscles of the head, neck, and jaws having to compensate for a bite that is “off” and muscles that are fatigued due to clenching and grinding. Specially designed night/bite guards, orthotics, and retainers can be made to support the bite and can reduce or eliminate the muscle hyperactivity and head and neck pain. People that have been diagnosed with a variety of migraines, sinus, and neck issues are often surprised to find out that their pain is quickly resolved with this kind of treatment. In the long run, they may want orthodontic treatment to move their teeth to this better position and/or change their bites with crowns, onlays, or veneers.

The research and technology that are available today enable dentists to provide care for people that we would never have dreamed possible several decades ago. It is always exciting to be able to create beautiful teeth and smiles, and it is even more gratifying to be able see people free of head and neck pain, sleeping through the night, and having spectacular, productive lives.

For more information or a complimentary initial consultation, call today at one of our 3 locations: Sarasota/University Pkwy at (941) 227-4176, Sarasota/South Trail at (941) 227-4183, Venice at (941) 227-4186. Visit us online and view our patient testimonial videos at We look forward to meeting you in our comfortable, friendly environment to answer all your questions.

University Palm Aire Plaza at Sarasota
5899 Whitfield Avenue, Suite 105
Sarasota, FL 34243

The South Trail Office at Sarasota
3220 S. Tramiami Trail
Saratosa, FL 34239

The Galleria at Venice Avenue
1500 East Venice Avenue, Suite 203
Venice, FL 34292

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