St. Paul Orthodontist Talks About Orthodontic Products For BabiesSt. Paul Orthodontist Talks About Orthodontic Products For Babies

ST. PAUL AND SAVAGE, MINNESOTA - When it comes to raising kids these days, plenty of parents seems to be more proactive than ever in their approach to preventing a variety of potential problems regarding their children.

This drive has resulted in a burgeoning business for makers of any number of prevention-related products, and the orthodontic field has not been untouched by it either, according to St. Paul orthodontist Dr. Trudy Bonvino, of Cosmopolitan Orthodontics in Savage and St. Paul.

Technology has lead to an array of orthodontic approaches that provide beneficial, early intervention and early treatment options to eliminate the need for braces in some children, says Bonvino, a St. Paul orthodontics provider, and prevent the need for more extensive treatment in other children as they grow.

With that said, however, St. Paul Invisalign specialist Bonvino says the area between prevention and going overboard can be cloudy.

In her professional opinion, one example is baby bottle nipples, pacifiers and sippy cups designed with orthodontics in mind.

Bonvino, a St. Paul braces expert, wonders just how necessary these items really are, she says.

"It has been my experience that lots of problems in children in the age bracket that these products target correct themselves on their own," says the St. Paul invisible braces provider.

A preliminary study that was published in Pediatric Dentistry in 1992 described orthodontic pacifiers as being scientifically designed to support the shape of a baby's developing palate and jaws. The flattened shape was engineered to promote a baby's natural sucking action, which would aid in proper oral development while simulating the shape of a mother's nipple when flattened in the mouth, according to an article published on the pediatrics website.

But Bonvino has discovered that in a few cases, orthodontic pacifiers are not only unnecessary sometimes; they actually can lead to future orthodontic problems.

That study also stated that children using orthodontic pacifiers had less chance of having an open bite or an overbite than those who use traditional round pacifiers. However, it stated that the difference was difficult to quantify, because neither type tended to cause problems unless sucked intensely for years.

"That's the part that I want to drive home," says the St. Paul orthodontics specialist. "That study all those years ago insinuated even then that regular use of pacifiers likely wasn't harmful to future orthodontic health."

The sucking instinct is something babies are born with, according to information posted on pediatric website. A pacifier can serve as a source of comfort during a baby's first months, but that innate need to suck begins to lessen when a child reaches 6 to 9 months of age.

"That can be a good time to start the process of breaking your baby of the pacifier habit," Bonvino says. "It is the prolonged use of a pacifier or the ongoing habit of thumb-sucking beyond the toddler stage that can cause alignment issues once a child's primary teeth begin to erupt."

The Gerber site offers a great deal of helpful information for weaning your baby off of a pacifier, including these:

• Use the pacifier to satisfy your baby's sucking instincts during the first 6 months, but don't use it as a way of comforting your crying baby.

• When you reach the stage of limiting pacifier use, be ready with alternative methods to comfort your baby, such as holding or cuddling him/her.

• Make it a goal to wean your baby from pacifier use at 12 to 18 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics says pacifiers through the first year of life are OK, and a majority of children stop using them by age 2.

The Thumb Sucking Habit
Although babies can be weaned from a pacifier at a young age in an attempt to prevent future oral problems, thumb-sucking can be a more difficult habit to break, Bonvino says.

The thumb-sucking habit needs to be broken prior to eruption of a child's adult teeth because- depending on how seriously the child sucks his/her thumb- it can lead to problems with the child's teeth alignment, she says. It also can cause changes in the roof of the child's mouth and even complicate jaw growth.

"The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be assessed by an orthodontist by age 7,"Bonvino says. "However, parents see their children day in and day out, and they will be able to tell if their child's thumb-sucking habit has caused the baby teeth to shift. If that's the case, parents should have that evaluation done earlier."

An orthodontist can help break the thumb-sucking habit if the child can't quit on his/her own. Mouth appliances can be installed in a child's mouth by an orthodontist that removes the soothing sensation felt when thumb-sucking.

About Cosmopolitan Orthodontics
Cosmopolitan Orthodontics opened on June 4, 2009 in Lakeville, MN. The state-of-the-art facility features the latest in orthodontic technology. It is designed to provide an outstanding experience for patients and parents.

Dr. Trudy Bonvino is the orthodontist on staff at Cosmopolitan Orthodontics. A native of the Twin Cities, Dr. Bonvino was drawn to a career in orthodontics because it combined her two greatest interests: art and science.

Dr. Bonvino earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota before attending the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry and graduating with high distinction and her Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 1992. In 1994, Dr. Bonvino completed a residency in clinical orthodontics at the University of Minnesota and earned her master's degree there, as well

The staff at Cosmopolitan Orthodontics takes pride in caring for the orthodontic needs of residents in the Twin Cities- St. Paul and Minneapolis- and their surrounding regions, including Mendota Heights, Inver Grove Heights, Burnsville, Apple Valley and Prior Lake, Minnesota.
Cosmopolitan Orthodontics is located at 17757 Juniper Path in Lakeville and 8310 C.R. 42 in Savage.

© 2011 Master Google and Cosmopolitan Orthodontics. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing is credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.
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by Jennifer Eisenhuth
References and Bibliography
If you would like to learn about orthodontic products for babies and St. Paul orthodontist at cosmopolitan orthodontics, or you want to schedule an appointment for a free consultation with one of the St. Paul orthodontists, please call (952) 469-3333.
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