Orthodontics for Kids
Why should your child wait to start enjoying a healthy and beautiful smile? Orthodontists have determined that it is ideal to begin orthodontic treatment when the patient is young. A child’s permanent teeth begin to come in at age 6 or 7, but their bones continue to grow for several years after. This time period is the perfect time for Dr. Dan to begin assessing and treating your child’s needs.
The American Orthodontic Association recommends bringing a child in for evaluation around the early age of 7, because, at this point, potential dental problems can be detected and preventative measures can be taken. We usually begin the earliest phase of orthodontic treatment, known as Phase One, around the age of 9. We call this Early Orthodontic Treatment, or Phase One Orthodontic Treatment.
Advantages of Early Prevention
Early prevention will:
- Correct the growth of the jaw
- Make room for permanent teeth to come in properly
- Lower the chance of necessary tooth extractions
- Make chewing and biting easier
- Prevent or stop mouth breathing
- Stop thumb or finger sucking habits
- Improve speech impediments
- Decrease crowding of teeth
- Help patients avoid more intensive and expensive dental care
- Develop a straighter, more confident smile
Early prevention will create an easy road to a smile that looks and functions perfectly. This early phase of orthodontic treatment typically only lasts for 1 year or less. Phase two typically begins around age 12.
A tongue crib is a habit-breaking appliance that is used to break a thumb sucking habit. A prolonged thumb sucking habit can have a negative effect on the teeth including an open bite. A tongue crib is a custom appliance that is comfortable yet very effective in breaking the habit.
One of the services we offer for children to improve their smile is a palatal expander. Often, a child’s jaw is too small to accommodate all of the permanent teeth that are growing into the mouth. One of the common solutions for this problem is tooth extraction. Fortunately, Dr. Dan provides another way. A palatal expander will create space in your child’s mouth sufficient to accommodate all of their permanent teeth.
Before and After Expansion
Signs for Early Orthodontic Treatment
In addition to bringing your young child in for an evaluation, there are plenty of signs you can look for in determining whether or not they will require early treatment. These signs often pose as causes as well, and should be monitored closely. Signs to look for include:
- Losing baby teeth early or late. Children should start losing teeth around 6 years old and have all of their permanent teeth around 12.
- Sucking their thumb past the age of three.
- Speech impediments
- Problems with chewing and biting
- Protruding teeth
- Crowded front teeth
Benefits of Early Prevention
As the jaw bones harden and stop growing near the end of your child’s teen years, orthodontic treatments can take more time and require further procedures, such as tooth extraction and oral surgery. Accordingly, early treatment may prevent the need for orthodontic procedures as an adult.
Would you like for your child to avoid difficulty eating, an incorrect bite, and expensive dental care? Bring your child into Dr. Dan for customized and compassionate care. Early prevention can mean an easier and more comfortable future for you and your child. Schedule an initial exam by contacting our office today.