At QRDC we understand that children are not just small adults and are not always able to be patient and cooperative during dental procedures. As child-centred dental professionals, we know how to examine and treat children in ways that make them as comfortable as possible. We offer a wide range of treatment options, as well as expertise and training to care for your child's teeth, gums, and mouths, in order to provide a whole team-approach to caring for your child.
When should children first visit QRDC?
Children should start visiting the dentist from the time their teeth erupt – not only to get used to the process and to experience the fun that can be had with our team, but because developmental problems can be detected as early as the age of three. Due to modern feeding habits, dummies, bottle feeding and sippy cups, jaw growth is affected and more overcrowding cases and misaligned jaw issues are being presented in young patients. New advances have made it possible to use unique appliances in line with the child’s particular growth phase to ensure crowding is minimised or completely avoided along the way.
Why is this so important?
Dr Stefan’s technique means in even most extreme cases, no teeth are extracted due to overcrowding and the jaw is correctly modified and aligned between the ages of approximately 6 and 13. After this phase, minor tweaking is all that is usually required by conventional braces or Invisalign, for a shorter period than the norm, as the jaw has already been modified to the optimum position and teeth have been given the space to move into the correct location through gentle modifications over time. The avoidance of traumatic tooth pulling and loss of healthy teeth is important to Dr Stefan, who believes our profile and overall facial features are negatively affected when teeth are removed - the overall health and cosmetic impact of preserving healthy teeth is most beneficial. Stefan has a passion for Orthodontic treatment and has undergone extensive training under the guidance of globally acclaimed lecturer and founder of the Clinical Foundation of Orthopaedics and Orthodontics, Dr Skip Truitt.
How is this different to other orthodontic options?
It is Dr Truitt’s groundbreaking techniques that have allowed Dr Stefan to take a radically different approach to orthodontic treatment, where he is able to modify jaw development to allow permanent teeth to erupt by creating room in the dental arches, thus eliminating the need for painful, traumatic and unwanted tooth extractions (or surgery in extreme cases) associated with conventional orthodontic treatments. It is this passion that has led Stefan to be one of the world’s leading providers of this unique service. Dr Stefan’s results mean not only are smiles widened, the overall cosmetic effect of his treatment enables children to maintain their adult teeth prior to having braces, even if there is severe overcrowding at the outset. The final result is a more balanced profile and less cheek and jaw sag in the future, due to the fact that adequate space is made throughout the growth process, enabling children and teens to keep their teeth – the common problems this also prevents such as TMJ, clicking jaws and breathing issues, is far more than just cosmetic! Take a look at Dr Stefan’s gallery to see the dramatic results obtained without the loss of a single healthy tooth.
Why not just pull out my child’s teeth to ‘make room’?
In a child’s crowded mouth, we never promote the removal of deciduous (baby or first teeth) to ‘make space’ for erupting adult teeth. Maintaining the health of every deciduous tooth is essential, as baby teeth elicit a piezo-electric stimulant effect via their roots, which promotes the underlying jaw bone to grow and develop. Losing deciduous teeth prematurely has a negative effect on the growth and development of the jaw. So when you pull out baby teeth prematurely to ‘make room’ for adult teeth, you are actually removing the bone developing stimulus. This is precisely why maintaining healthy teeth is so important to the development of the jaw as they ultimately help provide the space for adult teeth to locate themselves. In addition, the lower deciduous molar teeth have a vital function in preventing the lower permanent molars from drifting forward and entrapping the lower pre-molar. Thus, they are essential for maintaining stability in the lower jaw.
Premature loss of the deciduous molars should be avoided at all cost and we give advice on correct tooth brushing techniques, diet advice as well as fluoride treatment to help maintain healthy dentition from an early age. Fissure sealants can be beneficial for patients who display susceptibility to tooth decay, so your child’s teeth are carefully screened for the need of this protective procedure.
Other reasons for early intervention
We keep a close eye on the development of the jaws and dental arches and strive to correct any imbalances at the appropriate time. Our jaws can only develop correctly when we swallow correctly and breathe through or noses. These factors are the driving force of the development of the upper jaw. Any disturbance in these factors will have a detrimental effect on the normal development of the upper jaw. Incorrect swallowing habits, also called a ‘tongue thrust swallowing habit’, leaves the upper jaw narrow and causes a anterior open bite, where the front teeth does not meet, due to the muscle action of the tongue and cheeks. This condition is all too common and requires urgent correction as ignoring this problem only creates a very complex and difficult problem to correct at a later age.
Dr Stefan is so passionate in his drive to save healthy teeth that he invites children to attend their checkups regularly, free of charge.