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Update on Early orthodontic expansion on our 4-year-old patient who is now 6 years old

•First adult tooth has erupted in the lower jaw straight
•Second adult tooth has ample space to erupt in straight
•Remember, adult teeth are larger than baby teeth
•There needs to be spacing between baby teeth
•Spacing between baby teeth shows that the jaws are big enough to accommodate the adult teeth
•If baby teeth are touching or crowded the adult teeth will not have enough room to erupt in Straight and will be crooked
•Seeing an orthodontist by age 4 is important

•This patient had an orthodontic expander at age 4
•The patient is now 6 with properly sized jaws to fit adult teeth

We will keep you updated on this case as more adult teeth erupt. The goal is that this patient will have a healthy airway and not need braces. If braces are needed it will be for a minimal time.



Top photo:
• upper jaw is too small
• your upper jaw is your midface
• the upper jaw is the floor of the nose
• thus the floor of the nose is narrower
• a smaller nasal airway makes nasal breathing more difficult

We had the parent fill out an airway/sleep assessment and a few items were red flags for potential issues with airway and nasal breathing:

• child moves around a lot while sleeping
• child arches their head back while sleeping
• child sometimes has heavy breathing and sweating in their sleep

The treatment for this 4 yo
• rapid palatal expansion of the upper jaw
• lower expander to upright the lower teeth
• treatment completed in 2 months
• showed patient proper tongue position at rest and while swallowing
• showed patient proper nasal breathing through the nose

We recommend orthodontic evaluations at the patient’s first visit (yes this could be at birth, looking at the narrowness of the upper jaw, and evaluation for tongue-tie). This is true preventative care as we can get a child back on course for proper and optimal growth and development.

Our goal:
• about a nickel size spacing between each tooth is healthy.
•This indicates enough space for the adult teeth to come in straight and
• hopefully no need for braces later on