By starting treatment between age seven and ten when the head is growing, Dr. Henken has a “window of opportunity” to influence the growth of the jaws and to change bad habits. He uses jaw growth stimulators and limited braces to guide the jaws to the proper size and position before the last permanent teeth erupt. In most cases, he can avoid the severe crowding and misalignment of teeth that necessitates extraction of permanent teeth. This interceptive phase of treatment lasting twelve to eighteen months is followed by an “intermission” while the remaining permanent teeth are erupting. After the early orthopedic phase of treatment and the intermission, braces are usually required for the permanent teeth to perfect their alignment for the best appearance and function. However, the length of time that braces are worn during the teen years is usually reduced. The results of this interceptive approach are a more attractive facial appearance and Dr. Henken’s signature “winning smile”
Older children who have all their permanent teeth can also be helped by braces. Facial growth can be influenced until the mid-teens but to a lesser degree. Dr. Henken uses Facial Orthopedics and standard braces and combines the best of both methods. The advantages of this combined therapy are many:
• More balanced facial features
• Avoidance of extraction of permanent teeth
• Less time in braces during teen years
• Reduced use of headgear bad habits corrected early
• Improve speech development
• More treatment accomplished early
• A ”winning smile”!
The ideal time for Dr. Henken to evaluate your child is seven years of age. Although many family and children’s dentists recognize the early signs of developing problems, it is not necessary for you to be referred before calling for more information. There is no charge at Henken Orthodontics for an initial evaluation.