Children and Braces

Why start early treatment in children?

CA child with braceshildren and teenagers are ideal candidates for orthodontic treatment because the jawbone is soft and still growing; a young patient’s smile is particularly receptive to re-alignment. Early treatment also offers significant health benefits such as improved speech, better access for oral hygiene and self-confidence.

Have your first orthodontic visit at age 7.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a visit to the orthodontist at age 7, or earlier if oral or facial irregularities are present.

Early intervention allows us to guide the growth of the jawbone, ensuring that permanent teeth will come in straight. We do this by creating more space where teeth are crowded and regulating the width of the upper and lower jaw. This helps to avoid impacted teeth as well as other costly and painful complications later  in life.

What Causes Misalignment?

Most bite issues are inherited, but they can also be caused or exacerbated by habits and behaviors that are common within young children including finger sucking, overuse of pacifiers, poor nutrition, and poor oral hygiene. Common accidents/traumas such as falling play a big factor in misalignment of children.

Treatment used for children

A young kid holding invisalign traysPhase 1 treatment is used to treat child malocclusion with a mix of baby and permanent teeth.  The principal goal is to make room for permanent teeth. This treatment generally consists of the placement of different elements like:

  • Expander: Also called a rapid palatal expansion RPE, is an appliance designed to correct a narrow upper arch that can result in crossbite, crowding, or impacted teeth. Two bands are cemented into the last upper molars and connected with a metal screw that gets turned regularly to expand the appliance. 
  • Habit Breakers: An appliance that helps patients break or stop a dysfunctional habit, like sucking of the thumb and tongue thrust (placing the tongue in between the front teeth). They are completely painless to get put on and does not hurt to wear. This can lead to some tongue soreness and speech issues. Don’t worry; both will go away quickly.
  • Metal or Ceramic braces: Braces are used to correct the malocclusion. Colorful bands are added, giving kids a new and fun way to express themselves! Braces work great and are the most popular option when thinking about an orthodontic treatment plan. Metal braces are more hygienic than ceramic braces, so that should be considered when choosing which type to use. 
  • Invisalign may also be an option to responsible patients with good cooperation.

After the removal of braces, we have the retention phase for the transition to permanent dentition.  In some cases, patients are given Phase 2 treatment for a short amount of time to correct any details when all the permanent teeth are erupted.

We are here to make your child’s orthodontic experience as comfortable and successful as possible. Please give us a call for more information.

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