The major problem for any treatment at this age is that there is no easy way to obtain the needed space to correct crowding. Once the baby teeth molars are lost and replaced by the permanent bicuspids, the extra space that is available at a younger age has been lost and must be created by additional therapy and clinical intervention.

Retention with Healthy Start has the advantage of using the same device as the one for treatment; however, since the connective fibers were fully developed prior to treatment, retention is typically required to hold the teeth in their new position. This typically involves lifetime wear of the device, perhaps for one or two nights per week.

Sometimes space is obtained with an additional device (Healthy Start Lip Bumper) to create space within a few months. This method works well since it positions the back teeth in and ideal relation and creates additional space. In some instances, a dentist may recommend a procedure known as interproximal (i.e. between the teeth) reduction in order to create space.

Teeth move at the same rate of speed regardless of the age of the patient. Most cases treat out in two to 10 months, and the degree of perfection of the final result is the same for any patient, depending, of course, on the degree of cooperation and the innate ability of their teeth to respond to movement.

Possibly. Many dental problems can be corrected with the Healthy Start System for Teens & Adults, ages 13 and older. Crowding of up to about 1/8 inch, as well as 1/4 inch of overbite and overjet, are usually successfully treated within six to eight months. However, in order to impact the growth and development of a person’s airway, treatment generally must begin prior to or near the onset of puberty.

Sometimes at first, patients report some minor discomfort and dull pain for the first three days as the jaw may become tired or sore. If this happens, we recommend gradually working up to three hours of exercise over a few days. After three days, this typically subsides and never returns.

Not at all. In fact, Healthy Start has been shown to actually help relieve TMJ dysfunction and help the jaw and teeth begin to work properly together. From research, it can correct 83% of TMJ dysfunction.

Compliance is always an important part of treatment with removable appliances. However, our experience is that when parents truly understand what is at stake, and committed to their children’s overall health, compliance tends to be a non-issue. Of course, braces are always a final option for those rare kids who for some reason cannot be compliant with Healthy Start. Fortunately, the vast majority of Healthy Start patients never need to take that option.

The vast majority of Healthy Start cases can be successfully completed without resorting to braces. In our experience, a very small number (less than 7%) of Healthy Start cases may benefit further from a brief (two to four months) stint in braces, primarily to facilitate minor tooth rotation.

No adverse effects of early treatment using The Healthy Start System have ever been reported. Research results on the Healthy Start System worn passively have indicated no adverse or negative effects on the root, bone development, or facial growth of the child. Conversely, many important advantages have been associated with early treatment and reported by parents and patients.

As adult teeth begin to erupt, the fibers that attach these teeth to surrounding bone and soft tissue are not yet mature. In the 12 to 18 months following the tooth’s full eruption, these fibers gradually join together, forming a mass of connecting fibers that lock the new tooth in place. Healthy Start gently and efficiently guides patients’ teeth into an ideal alignment as they erupt, so that as these natural fibers develop, and “lock” the teeth into their ideal position.

Growth plays an important role in achieving a stable correction. It is therefore essential, particularly in severe cases, to start corrections at an early age to take advantage of this major growth, which then prevents relapse.

No. If a child or anyone experiences periods where there is a pause or cessation in breathing, then that patient should immediately be referred to a medical doctor who is trained to deal with that level of sleep disorder. Healthy Start is not intended to treat OSA, or Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

The Healthy Start system can help widen the dental arches, straighten the teeth, and promote the proper growth and development of a child’s upper and lower jaws. As this process occurs, the child’s airway will often become larger and more open. As a child’s airway opens more fully, and as the child begins to breathe through their nose rather than their mouth, many of the symptoms and health issues associated with Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) simply go away.

It is important to note, however, that once a person is finished growing, the options for airway development become much more limited.

Bed wetting is often associated with a disruption in the oxygen / CO2 balance in the child’s bloodstream during sleep. As a result, children who mouth breathe and suffer from SDB tend to wet the bed more frequently. As Healthy Start appliances begin to promote nasal breathing and discourage mouth breathing, children tend to sleep better and wet the bed less. Many parents report that bed wetting stops completely within just a few days or weeks of starting the Healthy Start treatment. Keep in mind that every child’s situation is different, and that each child will respond differently to treatment.

This is a decision for your child’s medical doctor and you as a parent. Many parents with children in treatment with Healthy Start report that they have been able to reduce or eliminate some or all of the prescription medications, which had previously been required for their children, under the supervision of their medical doctor. In some cases, the improvement in behavior and ability to focus and concentrate in school occurs rather quickly (within days or weeks) upon initiation of the Healthy Start treatment. In other cases, the improvement is more gradual.

There have been no cases reported with side effects or negative reactions to treatment with the Healthy Start. At this time, there is no specific clinical research which supports any claim that treatment with the Healthy Start can cure neurological behavior disorders, autism, or any other specific health disorder except as it pertains to widening the dental arches, straightening teeth, and promoting growth and development of the jaws. Therefore, we make no such claim for our product. What we do see from our experience is that many issues associated with Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) tend to disappear or diminish as the Healthy Start treatment begins, and as the child’s airway begins to open up.

Not directly. The Healthy Start System treats conditions that may be the root cause of ADD / ADHD symptoms in a child. When those conditions are corrected, the symptoms of ADD / ADHD will often disappear.

The cost of the Healthy Start System is set by independent Healthy Start doctors and may vary. However, in most cases the cost will typically be between 25% and 50% less than traditional braces. But that is only a fraction of the overall savings. When parents factor in all the savings from the avoidance of extractions, the cost of surgery to remove tonsils and adenoids, prescription drugs, psychiatric therapy, missed days at school, multiple doctor visits, and the benefits from an overall healthier child, the cost differential can become many thousands of dollars. Best of all, early treatment in the Healthy Start can set a child up for a lifetime of better sleep and overall health.

Our system is significantly faster than braces because of three significant reasons:

  • Healthy Start’s comprehensive and holistic treatment regimen begins early in a child’s life which positively affects and gently guides the developing dentition into the correct alignment before adult teeth become locked into place.
  • Healthy Start’s clinically proven technique first corrects a child’s oral habits and helps them to breathe properly through their nose.
  • The Healthy Start techniques work simultaneously to correct both the oral habits as well as the child’s orthodontic problems.

Braces uses mechanical force to correct the misalignment and each area corrected is done by a slower process requiring a step-by-step sequence.

Of course they can wait—but at what cost to them, and to you as their parent? Remember that crowded or crooked teeth are often a symptom of more serious underlying issues, such as a compromised airway. In those cases, waiting may result in a worsening of that condition, and a continuation of any Sleep Disordered Breathing, which will mean more costs and health issues down the road. Parents must understand the trade-off and negative impact that waiting may have on their child. By 12 years of age, particularly in girls, there often is not a sufficient amount of jaw growth left to fully stabilize the needed correction. Also by age 12, the fibers that hold the adult teeth in place have fully matured, or joined together, thus “locking in” the imperfections and making relapse highly likely. When orthodontic cases relapse, even partially, retreatment can be costly and can take even longer than the original treatment.

GET A SECOND OPINION. Surgical extractions of the upper and/or lower bicuspids used to be the standard protocol for many years. This is no longer necessary in the vast majority of cases. Healthy Start dentists have the tools and expertise to evaluate your child’s condition and make a recommendation. We estimate that the incidence of clinically necessary extraction cases is less than 1 in 500 children.

It’s not that they are wrong. It’s about you as a parent understanding the risks and compromises associated with postponing treatment, and then deciding what is best for your child. Research has shown that children do not typically grow out of these conditions. In fact, many often get worse and the options for treatment become fewer as children get older.

Keep in mind that most dentists and orthodontists are focused on two primary issues—preventing / filling cavities and straightening permanent teeth. Most do not have the specific training in airway growth and development or Sleep Disordered Breathing, nor do they always possess the tools to be able to deliver an effective treatment plan.

Waiting for all permanent teeth to erupt before beginning orthodontic treatment will do nothing to alleviate any symptoms or health conditions associated with Sleep Disordered Breathing or SDB. Once a child has fully entered puberty, the primary window of opportunity to correct certain conditions may have passed. Treatment options become far more costly and limited as a child grows into adolescence and adulthood.

Braces have never been shown to optimize the growth and development of a child’s airway. In fact, there are many highly qualified clinicians who claim braces can actually impede the very kind of growth and development which an optimized airway requires. Moreover, the vast majority of traditional orthodontic cases will relapse without some form of lifetime retention.

So if you want to give your child the very best chance of having a fully developed airway, a permanent smile without the need for extractions or relapse, and the very best chance of living in a healthier, happy way, then early intervention with Healthy Start is by far the best option.

Yes. Most aspects of malocclusions (overbite, jaw relationship, cross-bite, crowding, and overjet) stay the same or get worse in over 75% of individuals from 5 to 12 years of age and are predictable by 2 years of age.

The appliance is very soft and comfortable and is described as a pillow for your child’s teeth. Sometimes we find that a child might not be able to keep the appliance in their mouth all night due to mouth breathing. The Healthy Start is designed to stop mouth breathing and encourage nasal breathing. Creating this new habit sometimes will take a child some time to accomplish, but when the appliance remains in the mouth all night this indicates that the mouth breathing has ceased and the proper nasal breathing habit is now occurring.

Since treatment in young patients occurs as the adult teeth erupt, the process will need to last until all permanent teeth have come in. This is not as daunting as it may seem since the appliances may be worn passively at night or for brief periods during the day. Our devices work to ensure the jaw and teeth fit and work properly together, therefore allowing the achieved results to be stable for life. Typically, the child is completely finished by 12 years of age.

The Healthy Start addresses both the health issues in children as well as straightening teeth without braces. Nine out of ten children present with at least one symptom of Sleep Disorder Breathing. Healthy Start looks at the root cause of these symptoms basically a compromised airway, a narrow arch which compromises the proper tongue position, and mouth breathing. The Healthy Start addresses the root issues while straightening the teeth.

From our experience in over 3,000,000 cases, we have found that, as a general rule, earlier treatment is easier, better, safer, and yields more stable results. It can also be less expensive. One of the greatest advantages of the Healthy Start System for Kids is that many of the child’s dental and Sleep Disorder Breathing related problems can be corrected passively while sleeping. Therefore, this preventive program is considerably less complicated than waiting until your child is 12 or older. When the Healthy Start treatment begins at a pre-school age, the child can start school with straight teeth and can avoid the possibility of teasing or bullying because of their appearance.

Yes. Insurance policies that include orthodontic treatment will cover Healthy Start.

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The earlier the better. Ideally every child should have a comprehensive exam by a Healthy Start Provider by the age of two (2). Healthy Start dentists and their staff have received special training to ensure that the overall health and wellbeing of every child is carefully evaluated and taken into consideration when formulating a treatment plan.