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Early orthodontics is also referred to as phase 1 orthodontic treatment, and may be necessary to help children who have growth or alignment issues with their teeth. At Ballantyne Family Dental, we offer a variety of different options for patients who require early orthodontics. Our goal is to address the issues early to prevent more serious issues in the future from developing. Catching any issues with the jaw or teeth in the beginning is important before permanent teeth erupt.

When Should I Consider Early Orthodontic Treatment?

If your dentist has a concern during your regular exam, they may recommend early orthodontic treatment. Common devices used in early orthodontic treatment include braces, palatal expanders, or retainers.

What Are Common Issues That Require Early Orthodontic Treatment?

  • Issues with a child’s bite
  • Malocclusion or misaligned teeth
  • Teeth that protrude
  • Issue with a child’s jaw, or a child who has a very small jaw

What Are the Benefits of Early Orthodontics?

Early orthodontics can correct issues early on before they cause damage, and reduce the need for treatments later in life. Not every child requires early orthodontic treatment. Children that do not have any issues with their jaw or teeth should wait until phase 2 orthodontics.

  • Prevents a narrow jaw
  • Eliminates chances of crowding
  • Lowers risk of damage to protruding teeth
  • Reduces risk of tooth decay
  • Reduces risk of gum disease

Typically, children do not need to visit the orthodontist until at least six or seven years of age. Many children do not need orthodontic treatment until they are older. An early visit to the orthodontist can help detect issues, as well as know what your child may require as they get older. This also gives the opportunity for the parent to ask questions. Our team will discuss if your child requires phase 1 orthodontics to help reduce the need for treatment later in life.

Ready To Schedule Your Child’s Consultation?

If you are interested in finding out if your child requires early orthodontics, we recommend scheduling a consultation with us. Our doctors have years of experience in orthodontics, and our team is trained to work with children. We strive to provide a positive experience each time they visit our office. At Ballantyne Family Dental, we provide quality dentistry you can trust, and we welcome new patients to join our dental family.

To schedule your child’s appointment, contact Ballantyne Family Dental, and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

Male Dentist Examines A Young Patient

When the child has limited mobility of the tongue, we must be attentive because it could be a serious problem that affects their development.

What is The Short Lingual Frenulum?

The sublingual frenulum is a membrane that is under the tongue.  When it is shorter than normal, the movements of this organ are limited. 

People who have this condition can not touch the palate or upper lip with the tip of the tongue.

This disorder affects between 1 and 2.8% of children; It is also known as lingual hookworm or anchored tongue.

What Is The Short Lingual Frenulum

Types of short bridle

  • Anterior frenulum type 1: It extends from the base of the tongue to its tip. It takes a heart shape and you cannot touch the lower gum. The movement of the tongue is restricted.
  • Anterior frenulum type 2: The tissue is behind the tip of the tongue giving it a flat or arched appearance. Limit elevation and extension.
  • Type 3 posterior frenulum: It is located in the back of the tongue. It has another type of submucosal anchor in the floor of the mouth. The tongue sinks in the center or curves at the sides and does not reach the palate with an open mouth. The elevation, basically, is restricted.
  • Type 4 posterior frenulum: Also called short tongue. It is hidden by a mucous tissue, totally prevents the movement of the tongue.

Causes and treatment of the short lingual frenulum

The cause of the short lingual frenulum is unknown, but it is presumed to be genetic since the problem tends to run in some families. It is more common in boys than in girls. This is caused by the poor separation of the hyogloss and genioglossus muscles during the formation of the fetus leaving it out of the tongue. It can be identified by the appearance of certain symptoms such as the narrow palate, which causes malocclusions (dental crowding and tooth rotations). In addition to retrognathia, which places the lower jaw in a more backward position than the upper jaw.

Causes And Treatment Of The Short Lingual Frenulum

Another sign of the presence of the problem is the difficulty in raising the tongue in the direction of the upper teeth. Move it from side to side. In addition to difficulty removing it beyond the upper teeth. As well as showing a cleft or heart shape when the tongue is removed.

Treatment For The Short Lingual Frenulum

The treatment for this disorder will depend on the severity of the case. Sometimes you just need to do a series of exercises under the supervision of a speech therapist. These serve to replace the mobility of the language.

But in more severe cases it is necessary to perform a lingual frenulum surgery. This is a minor operation, called lingual frenectomy. It is performed with local anesthesia and does not generate many complications.

Although in less common cases there may be bleeding, infection, inflammation of the tongue and damage to the salivary gland ducts. Likewise, the appearance of residual scar tissue.

It is advisable to do the exercises with a speech therapist after the intervention. All under the supervision of a specialist in pediatric dentistry. The operation is considered when children have trouble sucking and feeding and they not represent improvement in the limitation of the movement of the tongue over time.