Children and Braces
About Children and Braces
Children 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. In addition to enhanced aesthetics, a straighter smile also offers significant health benefits including improved speech and better access for oral hygiene.
When Should You See an Orthodontist?
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 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 and other costly and painful complications later on 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 with young children including finger sucking, overuse of pacifiers, poor nutrition and poor oral hygiene.
Why should malocclusions be treated?
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems:
- Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
- Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping.
- Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear.
- Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits, speech impediments, wear on the back teeth and increased incident of jaw joint problems.
Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile – it creates a healthier you.
To determine if your child will benefit from braces, we will perform several painless diagnostic procedures. This initial phase may include panoramic X-rays, bite impressions, and computer-generated images of the head, neck and jaw. These steps also help us to decide on the best treatment option for your child.
Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:
- Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserving space for unerupted teeth
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing treatment time with braces
We are here to make your child’s orthodontic experience as comfortable and successful as possible. Please give us a call for more information.