Sample F11 from Lilian Pompian, "Tooth-Straightening Today" Everywoman's Family Circle, 58:3 (March, 1961), 8,107 from Family Circle Magazine, March, 1961, by permission of the author and publisher. A part of the XML version of the Brown Corpus2,037 words 312 (15.3%) quotes 1 symbolF11

Copyright, 1961, by The Family Circle, Inc. 0010-1840

Lilian Pompian, "Tooth-Straightening Today" Everywoman's Family Circle, 58:3 (March, 1961), 8,107 from Family Circle Magazine, March, 1961, by permission of the author and publisher.

Arbitrary Hyphen: whole-heartedly [0110]Typographical Error: peridontal [0820]

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Ten-year-old Richard Stewart had been irritable and quarrelsome for almost a year . His grades had gone steadily downhill , and he had stopped bringing friends and classmates home from school .

Mr. and Mrs. Stewart were puzzled and concerned . Then one day Dick's classmate Jimmy , from next door , let the cat out of the bag . The youngsters in the boys' class had nicknamed Dick `` Bugs Bunny '' because his teeth protruded .

When Richard's parents told him they wanted to take him to an orthodontist -- a dentist who specializes in realigning teeth and jaws -- their young son was interested . During the year that followed , Dick co-operated whole-heartedly with the dentist and was delighted with the final result achieved -- an upper row of strong straight teeth that completely changed his facial appearance .

Richard Stewart is no special case . `` The majority of children in the United States could benefit by some form of orthodontic treatment '' , says Dr. Allan G. Brodie , professor and head of the department of orthodontics at the University of Illinois and a nationally recognized authority in his field .

What do parents need to know about those `` years of the braces '' in order not to waste a child's time and their money ? ? How can they tell whether a child needs orthodontic treatment ? ? Why and when should tooth-straightening be undertaken ? ? What is it likely to cost ? ?

Tooth fit explained occlusion is the dentist's expression for the way teeth fit together when the jaws are closed . Malocclusion , or a bad fit , is what parents need to look out for . One main type of malocclusion is characterized by a receding chin and protruding upper front teeth . A chin too prominent in relation to the rest of the face , a thrusting forward of the lower front teeth , an overdeveloped lower jawbone , and an underdeveloped upper jaw indicate the opposite type of malocclusion .

These two basic malformations have , of course , many variations . A child probably requires some form of treatment if he has any of the following conditions : A noticeable protrusion of the upper or lower jaw .

Crooked , overlapping , twisted , or widely spaced teeth .

Front teeth not meeting when the back teeth close .

Upper teeth completely covering the lowers when the back teeth close .

The eyeteeth ( third from the middle on top , counting each front tooth as the first ) beginning to protrude like fangs .

Second teeth that have come in before the first ones have fallen out , making a double row .

Contrary to the thinking of 30 to 40 years ago , when all malocclusion was blamed on some unfortunate habit , recent studies show that most tooth irregularity has at least its beginning in hereditary predisposition . However , this does not mean that a child's teeth or jaws must necessarily resemble those of someone in his family .

Tooth deformity may be the result of excessive thumb- or finger-sucking , tongue-thrusting , or lip-sucking -- but it's important to remember that there's a difference between normal and excessive sucking habits . It's perfectly normal for babies to suck their thumbs , and no mother need worry if a child continues this habit until he is two or three years old . Occasional sucking up to the fifth year may not affect a youngster's teeth ; ; but after that , if thumb-sucking pressure is frequent , it will have an effect .

Malocclusion can also result if baby teeth are lost too soon or retained too long . If a child loses a molar at the age of two , the adjoining teeth may shift toward the empty space , thus narrowing the place intended for the permanent ones and producing a jumble . If baby teeth are retained too long , the incoming second teeth may be prevented from emerging at the normal time or may have to erupt in the wrong place .

Correction can save teeth every orthodontist sees children who are embarrassed by their malformed teeth . Some such youngsters rarely smile , or they try to speak with the mouth closed . In certain cases , as in Dick Stewart's , a child's personality is affected . Yet from the dentist's point of view , bad-fitting teeth should be corrected for physical reasons .

Bad alignment may result in early loss of teeth through a breakdown of the bony structure that supports their roots . This serious condition , popularly known as pyorrhea , is one of the chief causes of tooth loss in adults .

Then , too , misplaced or jammed-together teeth are prone to trapping food particles , increasing the likelihood of rapid decay . `` For these and other reasons '' , says Dr. Brodie , `` orthodontics can prolong the life of teeth '' .

The failure of teeth to fit together when closed interferes with normal chewing , so that a child may swallow food whole and put a burden on his digestive system . Because of these chewing troubles , a child may avoid certain foods he needs for adequate nutrition . Badly placed teeth can also cause such a speech handicap as lisping .

The when and how of straightening `` most orthodontic work is done on children between the ages of 10 and 14 , though there have been patients as young as two and as old as 55 '' , says Dr. Brodie .

In the period from 10 to 14 the permanent set of teeth is usually completed , yet the continuing growth of bony tissue makes moving badly placed teeth comparatively easy . Orthodontic work is possible because teeth are held firmly but not rigidly , by a system of peridontal membrane with an involved nerve network , to the bone in the jaw ; ; they are not anchored directly to the bone . Abnormal pressure , applied over a period of time , produces a change in the bony deposit , so a tooth functions normally in the new position into which it has been guided .

What can 10-year-old Susan expect when she enters the orthodontist's office ? ? On her first visit the orthodontist will take x-rays , photographs , tooth measurements , and `` tooth prints '' -- an impression of the mouth that permits him to study her teeth and jaws .

If he decides to proceed , he will custom-make for Susie an appliance consisting of bands , plastic plates , fine wires , and tiny springs . This appliance will exert a gentle and continuous or intermittent pressure on the bone . As the tooth moves , bone cells on the pressure side of it will dissolve , and new ones will form on the side from which the tooth has moved . This must be done at the rate at which new bony tissue grows , and no faster .

`` If teeth are moved too rapidly , serious injury can be done to their roots as well as to the surrounding bone holding them in place '' , explains Dr. Brodie . `` Moving one or two teeth can affect the whole system , and an ill-conceived plan of treatment can disrupt the growth pattern of a child's face '' .

During the first few days of wearing the appliance and immediately following each adjustment , Susan may have a slight discomfort or soreness , but after a short time this will disappear . Parents are often concerned that orthodontic appliances may cause teeth to decay . When in place , a well-cemented band actually protects the part of the tooth that is covered .

Next Susie will enter the treatment stage and visit the orthodontist once or twice a month , depending on the severity of her condition . During these visits the dentist will adjust the braces to increase the pressure on her teeth .

Last comes the retention stage . Susie's teeth have now been guided into a desirable new position . But because teeth sometimes may drift back to their original position , a retaining appliance is used to lock them in place . Usually this is a thin band of wire attached to the molars and stretching across the teeth . Susie may wear this only at night or for a few hours during the day .

Then comes the time when the last wire is removed and Susie walks out a healthier and more attractive girl than when she first went to the orthodontist .

How long will this take ? ? Straightening one tooth that has come in wrong may take only a few months . Aligning all the teeth may take a year or more . An added complication such as a malformed jaw may take two or three years to correct .

What is the cost ? ?

The charge for a complete full-banded job differs in various parts of the country . Work that might cost $500 to $750 in the South could cost $750 to $1,200 in New York City or Chicago . An average national figure for two to three years of treatment would be $650 to $1,000 .

`` Factors in the cost of treatment are the length of time involved and the skill and education of the practitioner '' , says Dr. Brodie .

To become an orthodontist , a man must first be licensed by his state as a dentist , then he must spend at least two years in additional training to acquire a license as a specialist .

`` Costs may seem high , but they used to be even higher '' , says Dr. Brodie . `` Fees are about half to a third of what they were 25 years ago '' .

The reason ? ? People today are aware of the value of orthodontics , and as a result there are more practitioners in the field .

Most orthodontists require an initial payment to cover the cost of diagnostic materials and construction of the appliances , but usually the remainder of the cost may be spread over a period of months or years . In many cities in the United States clinics associated with dental schools will take patients at a nominal fee . Some municipal agencies will pay for orthodontic treatment for children of needy parents .

Research helps families growth studies have been carried on consistently by orthodontists . Dr. Brodie has 30-year records of head growth , started 20 minutes after children's births .

`` In the past anyone who said that 90% of all malocclusion is hereditary was scoffed at ; ; now we know that family characteristics do affect tooth formation to a large extent '' , he says . `` Fortunately through our growth studies we have been able to see what nature does , and that helps us know what we can do '' .

This knowledge both modifies and dictates diagnosis and treatment . For example , a boy may inherit a small jaw from one ancestor and large teeth from another . In the past an orthodontist might have tried , over four or five years , to straighten and fit the boy's large teeth into a jaw that , despite some growth , would never accommodate them . Now a dentist can recommend extraction immediately .

In other cases , in view of present-day knowledge of head growth , orthodontists will recommend waiting four or five years before treatment . The child is kept on call , and the orthodontist watches the growth . `` Nature often takes care of the problem '' , says Dr. Brodie . `` A child with a certain type of head and teeth will outgrow tooth deformity '' .

That is why Dr. Brodie asks parents not to insist , against their dentist's advice , that their child have orthodontic work done too early . `` Both because of our culture's stress on beauty and our improved economic conditions , some parents demand that the dentist try to correct a problem before it is wise to do so . Let the orthodontist decide the proper time to start treatment '' , he urges .

Superior new material for orthodontic work is another result of research . Plastics are easier to handle than the vulcanized rubber formerly used , and they save time and money . Plaster of Paris , once utilized in making impressions of teeth , has been replaced by alginates ( gelatin-like material ) that work quickly and accurately and with least discomfort to a child .

Prevention is best as a rule , the earlier general dental treatment is started , the less expensive and more satisfactory it is likely to be .

`` After your child's baby teeth are all in -- usually at the age of two and one half to three -- it's time for that first dental appointment '' , Dr. Brodie advises . `` Then see that your youngster has a routine checkup once a year '' .

To help prevent orthodontic problems from arising , your dentist can do these things : He can correct decay , thus preventing early loss of teeth . If a child does lose his first teeth prematurely because of decay -- and if no preventive steps are taken -- the other teeth may shift out of position , become overcrowded and malformed . In turn the other teeth are likely to decay because food particles may become impacted in them .