The Dirty Little Secret Orthodontists Keep

I have a strong dissatisfaction for the American Association of Orthodontics because of their archaic and self–serving philosophies that unilaterally support the struggling orthodontic industry and are not necessarily in the public best interest. Per AAO recommendations, waiting to screen patients until age 7 actually creates more orthodontic cases instead of improving orthodontic health in children. This policy thickly lines the pocket books of their doctors and provides bread and butter stability for a faltering industry.

The American public isn’t aware that early screening and intervention solutions from PCD’s (General and Pediatric Dentists) are available and can often eliminate any subsequent need for orthodontics. Screening all toddlers by age 2 should be standard-of-care in all family and pediatric dental practices. Contentious screening for the following symptoms or conditions and intervening early could eliminate the bulk of comprehensive orthodontic cases and improve the quality of life in children:

• Thumb Habits
• Tongue Habits
• Pacifier or Bottle Habits
• Digit Habits
• Mouth Breathing
• Sleep-Disordered Breathing
• ADHD
• Snoring
• Skeletal Malocclusions
• Dental Malocclusions
• Lack of Spacing in Primary Teeth (indicating predisposition to crowding in permanent teeth)

There are several early intervention systems on the market, but the most comprehensive is the Healthy Start®-Orthotain® system. With lab fees ranging between $600-700 per case, this is a low-overhead solution that can easily be integrated into any PCD practice. For more information on the Healthy Start®-OrthoTain® system, you can visit www.thehealthystart.com.

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