Pediatric Orthodontist in Dallas | Early Orthodontic Prevention

Pediatric Orthodontist in Dallas, TX

Offering Your Child a Greater Chance for Overall Health in Dallas, Texas

Have you ever heard the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” This adage means that taking care of something before it becomes a problem is better than trying to remedy it after it becomes a problem. This approach is our philosophy and is the reason we believe preventive orthodontic treatment is the key to optimal teeth, jaws and overall health. 

As an orthodontist who treats children and teens as well as adults in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Ward and his team focus on wellness and prevention programs to maximize children’s jaw growth and facial development. This unique approach to orthodontics is highly specialized and focused on preventing invasive procedures in the future, such as braces, extractions, headgear and surgery. 

Why Start Early?

Why not? Waiting to begin treatment for orthodontic problems can mean years of braces and invasive procedures. It can also mean eating, breathing and speech problems; impaired cognitive development; stunted growth; and severe implications for overall health. 

Early orthodontic prevention (before age 7) is not just about achieving a beautiful smile; it’s about establishing the foundation for a lifetime of optimal jaw health, improved facial appearance, proper breathing and excellent overall health by helping to guide the growth and development of their jaw and teeth. 

Never Too Early?

Early intervention is critical to overall health. In fact, we work with expectant mothers on their diets, because teeth begin developing in the fetus. We work with nursing babies with tongue ties, which can negatively affect jaw growth, nursing and speech development. And we work with children under the age of 5 whose adult teeth are far from erupting. 

Starting early has more significant benefits than waiting to treat because it is much easier to guide growth than remodel it.


Orthotropics ™ is an orthodontic approach to guiding jaw and facial growth to develop a beautiful and healthy smile. When the jaw or midface does not properly develop, you may see crowded teeth, crooked teeth, buck teeth, deep overbites, crossbites and underbites. While braces may be part of your child’s personalized treatment plan, Dr. Ward strives to provide a broad approach to lifetime wellness through his practice of Orthotropics ™ and airway maximization. The goal of this treatment is positive jaw growth, which is defined as horizontal growth of the jaw. This results in a balanced face and strong jawline, as opposed to vertical growth of the jaw, which results in a longer face and weak jawline. 

Dr. Ward provides Orthotropics ™ treatment for children between 3 and 12 years of age.

Oral Rest Posture | Why Does It Matter?

Often, the root cause of teeth and jaw problems is poor oral rest posture. Poor oral rest posture frequently is a consequence of an airway problem and is also common in individuals who are primary mouth breathers versus nasal breathers. Signs of poor oral rest posture include “gummy” smiles, red and inflamed gums, dark circles under the eyes, forward head posture, snoring, bedwetting, tooth grinding, difficulty or inability to focus, irritability, hyperactivity, or other behavior disorders.

What is Proper Oral Rest Posture?

Proper oral rest posture means that when the tongue is at rest, it touches the roof of the mouth, the upper and lower teeth touch or might be slightly apart, and the lips easily come together without effort. 

When proper oral rest posture is achieved, the face is balanced, as are the tongue and the cheeks. Proper oral rest posture also means improving general body posture, breathing and oral functions such as chewing, speaking and swallowing. 

Postural orthodontic treatment can help your child breathe, sleep, feel and look better for a lifetime!

Interceptive Arch Development

Underdeveloped arches are very common in children and are typically caused by incorrect tongue function and breathing through the mouth instead of the nose. Face ForWard’s interceptive arch development program offers nontraditional appliances to help develop arches, promote the movement of bones, and create a more balanced face and a healthy smile.

Advanced Lightwire Functional (ALF) Appliane Therapy – TALF is an alternative way to address the fundamental causes of crooked teeth. ALF uses light, flexible wires to model or remodel the growth of the upper jaw and move the midface forward – in many cases without the need for teeth extraction.

Crozat Therapy –Crozat therapy is a holistic treatment that helps to address issues with the teeth and the bite but also benefits the rest of the body by reducing the chance of developing temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) or other jaw problems, as well as snoring, obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. This therapy also improves airway health.

Crozat /ALF Treatment – The combination of Crozat and ALF treatments allows for the nearly invisible development of the dental arches to make room for permanent teeth and avoid painful extractions. The lightweight force of Crozat appliances are far gentler, more physiological and less bulky than acrylic “jack-screw” appliances that rapidly expand the palate. Since they are removable, Crozat and ALF appliances allow for better oral hygiene for both adults and children. Ideally, Crozat and ALF appliances are used in children as a phase I appliance to make room for teeth, and in adult cases where arch width is needed and can be used in conjunction with braces or with clear aligners.

Expanders – When children have a crossbite or overcrowding in their upper jaw, an expander may be recommended. An expander is common in early orthodontic treatment and is used to widen the upper jaw, stimulate bone growth and make way for adult teeth. We prefer to use removable expanders so they can be taken out when the teeth are cleaned. Expanders work by slowly widening the jaw over time with the turn of a small screw on a scheduled protocol.

pediatric orthodontist in dallas tx
dallas pediatric orthodontist

Dr. Darin was “only” a mouth breather the 1st 38 years of his life contributing to his over 20 fillings, 18 crowns, orthodontics with headgear, and bed wetting until the age of 12 (YES 12!!!!).

dallas pediatric orthodontist

Photo used with permission of Dr. Brian Hockel

pediatric orthodontist in dallas tx

Adult: Crozats + Braces

pediatric dentist in dallas

Adult: Crozats + Braces

pediatric dentist dallas tx

Child: Crozats

Experience the Difference with Our Pediatric Orthodontist in Dallas, TX Today

When you are ready to learn more about Face ForWard Orthodontics’ unique approach to treatment, give us a call at 214-304-8485 or CLICK HERE to request your child’s Face ForWard New Patient Assessment. This includes a discussion of your goals, digital x-rays, a 3D scan of your teeth, Airways Orthodontics exam, and a personalized treatment consultation.

During your new patient appointment, Dr. Ward and our knowledgeable team will make sure all of your questions are thoroughly answered about our office, our orthodontic treatments, our Lifetime Guarantee, flexible payment options, and anything else that you would like to know about us!

Come experience our Dallas, TX orthodontic office. You will quickly discover that we offer innovative orthodontic treatment options to all our patients – so you can become the very best version of yourself and face the world with confidence.

As one of the premier orthodontic practices in Dallas, TX our doctor and team at Face ForWard Orthodontics also provide 5-star orthodontic care to patients from Highland Park, University Park & Lakewood, TX, and Surrounding Areas.