One of the biggest challenges and controversies in orthodontics is how and when to manage mixed-dentition, pediatric patients. Orthodontic trends are cyclic and Phase I is “out; it’s become fashionable again to delay treatment until the late-mixed dentition.

I often look back on my clinical orthodontic days and wish I could hit a rewind button to change my historical practice philosophy. I never saw kids under age 7. I refused. I told the front desk to reschedule. The AAO recommended no treatment before age 7, so I didn’t either. In hindsight, that was a mistake.

I wish I had knowledge of a fun and comfortable way to treat habits and malocclusion in younger pediatric patients. Correcting Class III and open-bites in the late mixed-dentition with the pubertal growth clock ticking is a nightmare for practitioner, patient and parent alike. Luckily, there is now a better, healthier and more efficient way. Why not treat an at risk patient to PREVENT a problem before it starts?

The OrthoTain Healthy Start® system is designed for children as young as 2, to slowly and comfortably correct habits and guide tongue position in children at risk so that resultant malocclusion doesn’t even form. Yes, you will not only treat the malocclusion, but you’ll also you’ll prevent it in at-risk patients, if you start early enough. Open-bites, cross bites, narrow maxillas, retrognathic mandibles and resultant malocclusions are often associated with sleep-disordered breathing. It’s critical for a young child’s brain to obtain the right amount of sleep quality and quantity. It’s a proven fact that sleep disturbances in children lead to subsequent cognitive and behavioral challenges. I was unaware that all of this was tied together and that I, as a dentist, had the ability to improve the quality of life in a young child and a family.

The OrthoTain Healthy Start® system can be used by General Dentists, Pediatric Dentists and Orthodontists. For more information on how to integrate this system into your practice visit the HealthyStart website at or contact me at the StraightSmile Solutions® team for more information.

StraightSmile Solutions is the future of orthodontic coaching. We are the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GPs and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert, in order to enhance information sharing and efficiency in problem solving. We hope to revolutionize orthodontic coaching. As compared to other orthodontic coaching service providers, StraightSmile Solutions is a full-time business. We are independent and not run alongside a clinical practice. We commit our full energy to coaching, and YOU reap the benefits! We pride ourselves on lightning-fast service and responsiveness. StraightSmile Solutions is time and cost-efficient. Our services are available exclusively online. Of the over 128,000 general dentists in the U.S., most have little to no formal educational training in orthodontics. Those who do seek training often have to resort to expensive and time-consuming weekend services. You learn on the job through trial and error, but those errors can be expensive and unfortunate for both patients and doctors. We aim to fill the gap in the market for quality and efficient coaching to provide valuable solutions for doctors and their teams, and subsequent positive outcomes in the quality of patient care.