Orthotropics in Paediatric Dentistry
Orthotropics, is the field of dentistry that deals with the growth modification. An age-old phenomenon introduced by Prof. John Mew explains the importance of Tropic Premise: tongue in upper jaw, lips sealed; teeth in contact; set posture which means back straight; chin up.
Orthotropics banks on tropic premise and it explains that the facial development is in alignment with the same. When children develop the habit of mouth breathing and poor posture, it affects the development of face; chin growth reduces significantly, there then comes a tendency to develop long faces with deficient mid face growth and of course it affects the occlusion as well leading to either Class II, upper and lower crowding and class III facial developments.
SEE ALSO: Mouth Breathing in Children
Orthotropics focuses on the importance of posture and the use of parallel appliances that benefit postural corrections. In general, and totality these appliances are given over the period of twelve to twenty-four months, starting from Stage I active appliance to stage II training appliance and finally ending with Stage III retention appliance. The forces applied are slow and steady which allow teeth to develop around the modified and corrected surrounding facial structures, thereby ruling out the need for lifelong retention. The treatment does not focus on straightening the teeth but, certainly emphasizes on development and maintenance of correct postural habits and facial development lasting life time.
As a paediatric dentist, orthotropics can be applied from the age between five to nine years.
Treatment can certainly be well extended to older kids if and when the need arises. In conclusion, tropic premise and the tools to maintain the same for life is the philosophy of orthotropics that compliments the organic facial and dental growth.