Problems with the alignment of a child’s teeth can begin at a very young age. Various factors that influence the jaw’s growth and development can result in the permanent teeth erupting into the wrong positions.

Not only can this issue interfere with the aesthetics of your child’s smile, it can also disrupt a child’s breathing during sleep.

Fortunately, a system of early orthodontic intervention known as HealthyStart can address both of these problems by using specially designed appliance to manipulate the jaw’s development and encourage the proper eruption of permanent teeth.

If you have noticed signs that your child may benefit from early orthodontic intervention, schedule an evaluation at our office. We can determine if HealthyStart might address issues affecting the alignment of your child’s teeth and jaws.

How HealthyStart Works
HealthyStart uses comfortable, removable appliances to guide the permanent teeth to erupt in their proper locations. The appliances encourage expansion of the arches to avoid crowding along with guiding the growth and alignment of the lower jaw.

HealthyStart treatment has multiple phases, described below:

Habit Correction
The habit correct works to eliminate potentially harmful oral habits that your child may have developed. The appliance, which is designed similarly to a pacifier, is worn while your child sleeps.

Second Phase
This appliance, also worn nightly during sleep, works to make sure that the jaws can accommodate the permanent teeth while guiding those teeth to erupt into the correct positions.

Final Phase
This phase begins when at least four of your child’s permanent teeth have erupted. The appliance is designed to accommodate permanent teeth as it continues to

Habit correction can last anywhere from 1-5 months, while the second phase appliance is typically worn between 2-6 months. Dr. Nathanson can give you a more precise estimate of a treatment timeline after evaluating your child’s case.

In order to get the maximum benefit from HealthyStart, patient adherence is essential. Make sure that your child wears the appliances exactly as directed by Dr. Nathanson in order to achieve the desired treatment outcomes.

What is sleep-disordered breathing?
Constricted nasal passages and airways can inhibit a child’s breathing during sleep, leading to mouth breathing. This phenomenon, known as sleep-disordered breathing, contributes to developmental problems of the mouth and jaw that can cause crowding or other misalignments of the teeth.

Poor quality sleep affects numerous aspects of your child’s life. As such, the following issues may indicate that a child has sleep-disordered breathing:

  •  Loud snoring
  •  Gasping and snorting sounds during sleep
  •  Daytime drowsiness
  •  Dark circles under the eyes
  •  Bedwetting
  •  Irritability
  •  Attention disorders
  •  Allergies
  •  Asthma
  •  Teeth grinding
  •  Nightmares
  •  Lack of expected growth and development

In addition to promoting proper development of the smile, HealthyStart addresses sleep disordered breathing to eliminate these symptoms and improve your child’s quality of life.

Why should I consider early interceptive orthodontic treatment for my child?
Early interceptive orthodontic treatment can reduce the amount of time a child may need to spend wearing braces at an older age. It may even eliminate the need for later orthodontic treatment entirely. It can also prevent the need for future oral surgery to correct malocclusions.

Having a properly aligned smile from a young age gives your child so many benefits, including:

 Healthy self-esteem and self-confidence
 Proper chewing, ensuring good nutrition
 Development of proper speech patterns
Improved overall health and wellness