A child’s formative years are absolutely crucial for their mental, physical and social development. HealthyStart is an easy but highly-effective intervention that addresses sleep disordered breathing (SBD) as well as misalignments of the teeth and jaws early on. To help you have all the information you need about HealthyStart and how it can help your child, keep reading for answers to 8 common FAQs.
1. What are the Benefits of HealthyStart?
There are many benefits of HealthyStart which fall into two main categories:
- It often prevents the need for braces later on (or greatly minimizes the chances)
- It corrects the problems associated with sleep disordered breathing, which is very common. In fact, 9 out of 10 children show symptoms of SBD, including ADHD, daytime fatigue, restless sleep, trouble in school, irritability and many more .
2. How Does HealthyStart Work Faster Than Braces?
HealthyStart corrects the root cause of misaligned teeth in the earliest stages. It’s works faster than traditional orthodontics for 3 reasons:
- Making the right changes when a child’s teeth and jaws are still developing encourages the correct alignment from the very beginning. This is much easier than physically moving adult teeth after they’re “set.”
- By correcting certain habits right away (such as thumb sucking or mouth breathing), HeatlhyStart helps kids breathe properly through their nose and prevent many oral health issues altogether.
- In addition to targeting harmful habits as soon as possible, this system corrects orthodontic problems at the same time, making it more effective than either approach on its own.
3. Does Early Prevention or Treatment Cause Any Adverse Effects?
Millions of children have used HealthyStart without any adverse effects ever being reported. To to the contrary, it’s consistently been found to provide many benefits for the teeth, jaws, airway and developing bone structure of the face.
4. Will My Child Need Braces After HealthyStart?
More than 90% of children won’t need braces after HealthyStart. For the less than 7% of children who do, it’s usually to correct minor tooth rotation and only requires 2 to 4 months of orthodontic treatment.
5. Why Is Relapse So Common With Traditional Orthodontics But Not With HealthyStart?
This largely has to do with timing. In the early years (prior to age 7), the fibers that surround the roots of the teeth are relatively loose and malleable. HealthyStart takes advantage of this and more easily guides the teeth into the correct position. As a child gets older, these fibers become more settled and their teeth are “locked” into place.
If orthodontic treatment isn’t started until these later years, the supportive fibers around the teeth are much harder to move. Although it can certainly be done (and often is), it also increases the chance for relapse later on.
6. Is Preventing Problems Before Age 7 Easier Than Full Treatment At a Later Age?
Generally speaking, prevention prior to age 7 leads to easier, more stable results. It’s also more cost-effective, saves kids from the many problems associated with SBD, and often eliminates the need for braces.
7. Is Active Wear Time With HealthyStart Painful?
Active wear time, or exercises with the HealthyStart oral appliance, often causes mild discomfort, dull pain, or fatigue in the jaw muscles for the first few days. By gradually working up to three hours of active wear time over several days, any discomfort typically disappears for good.
8. Does HealthyStart damage the temporomandibular joints (TMJ)?
Not at all. You’ll be glad to know that HealthyStart actually improves the function of the TMJ and helps the teeth and jaws work together properly. In fact, research has shown it corrects more than 80% of TMJ dysfunction.
Ultimately, HealthyStart does exactly what the name implies: It gives kids the best start for a lifetime of good health!
About the Author
Dr. Erin M. Prach is a family dentist and a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. She’s a huge advocate of prevention and has seen firsthand how HealthyStart paves the way for kids to have a lifetime of good health. If you’d like to know more about HealthyStart in Casper or have any questions, she can be reached via her website.