The exact type of treatment that will be required to correct your child's problem will obviously depend upon the information that was gained from the diagnosis. However, we can divide therapy into four categories. They are functional orthopaedic therapy, extraction therapy, surgical therapy and fixed appliance therapy. In order to eliminate confusion, let's briefly define these four concepts of treatment.
Functional Orthopaedic Therapy
When a removable orthopaedic appliance is used to correct jaws that are growing improperly. A different form of appliance may be required to treat different growth problems.
When the removal of permanent teeth is required in order to correct an orthodontic problem. This technique is used very selectively as it is usually in the patient's best interest to maintain all of the permanent teeth if possible.
Just as the name implies, this procedure is reserved for those patients whose bony imbalance has progressed to the point that only surgical intervention can correct the problem.
Fixed Appliance Therapy
This is the conventional appliance technique using fixed braces. The appliance is attached to each individual tooth for precise positioning of the teeth.
It should be noted that quite frequently two or more of these techniques are combined in order to achieve the desired results. Your dentist will explain to you the type of treatment that can best correct the patient's problem.
Now that we have a basic understanding of the problem and the treatment, let's get down to the ‘nuts and bolts’ of everyday therapy. Most cases require between two and three years of active treatment to correct. This means that discipline is important.
We have already stressed the need for cooperation.
Beyond this, here are some pointers that can be very helpful:
Cleaning: Both the appliance and the teeth must be cleaned regularly. Any of the commercial denture cleaners work quite well when used on a daily basis to clean the appliances. However, some patients will build up a white coating on the appliance that is difficult to remove by soaking. Be careful!! Do not bend any of the wires while brushing the appliance.
The teeth should be brushed twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Flossing is also helpful in preventing cavities from forming in between the teeth. If the patient is in a situation where brushing is impossible, taking water and swishing it around the mouth is the next best way to clean the teeth.
Wearing: All appliances should be worn full time unless otherwise instructed by Dr Van Vuuren. Exceptions can be made for eating and cleaning. Some appliances are best removed during contact sports. Dr Van Vuuren should be consulted regarding each individual situation.
There are a number of different kinds of retainers. Dr Van Vuuren will select the particular type of retainer that is best suited for each patient. No matter what type of retainer is used, it is extremely important that it be worn according to Dr Van Vuuren's recommendations.