Dentofacial orthopedics is the process of normalizing the growth of a patient’s bone structure and repairing any imbalances of the face and jaws. Children are often the best candidates for receiving dentofacial orthopedic therapy. This process sometimes involves a two-phase treatment and often begins when the patient is around 7 or 8 years old.

Essentially, while orthodontics entails the management of tooth movement, dentofacial orthopedics involves the guidance of facial growth and development, which occurs largely during childhood. In both cases, appliances are frequently used – the more familiar ones are headgears, facemasks, and expanders depending on what facial abnormalities are present. Sometimes, orthopedic treatment may precede conventional braces, but often the two are accomplished at the same time. So if your child gets braces and headgear, they are undergoing orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics!