Orthodontic Treatments for Kids

Five young friends standing outdoors smiling

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends taking your child to see an orthodontist by the time they reach the age of seven. At this point, enough permanent teeth will have erupted and their jaw will have grown enough for the orthodontist to be able to tell if they will experience any orthodontic issues. If the orthodontist does notice any issues, early orthodontic treatment will likely be recommended.

The idea behind early orthodontic treatment is that by addressing certain issues while they are young, less treatment will be necessary when they are older. A good example of an issue that may be noticed by the orthodontist is an upper arch that is too small to allow for their teeth to properly erupt. In this instance, a device called a palatal expander can be used to increase the size in their upper arch as their jaw continues to grow. In some cases, dental extraction may also be done in order to provide the mouth with more room.

While it is still possible that orthodontic treatment may be necessary as the child gets older, they will be better positioned for it due to the early intervention. Many times this results in less time that they will ultimately have to be in braces when they get older.

Even if your child is not in need of early intervention, it is better to have the peace of mind of knowing there is nothing to worry about. If you want to have your child evaluated, contact our childrens orthodontists San Pedro to schedule a consultation.

When Should Orthodontic Treatments be Started?

Different Types of Orthodontic Treatments

Orthodontic treatment must be timed to the needs of the individual. Although children should have their orthodontic health examined by the age of seven, they may not need braces until they reach adolescence. Other patients may require multiple courses of orthodontic care, as well.

Early orthodontic treatments are often started by the age of seven, when the permanent teeth are emerging and the jaws are continuing to mature. Braces actually work in conjunction with this growth to straighten teeth more quickly. Furthermore, early braces can help pave the way to proper orofacial development and better oral health for a lifetime.

Depending on the patient, orthodontic treatment may occur in either a single course during childhood or in two courses, with a course performed during each of the stages. Differences in orofacial development and the types of irregularities involved may make one option or the other preferable.

With early orthodontic care, children gain confidence in their appearance and enjoy better oral health as they grow. Overall, improved ability to chew helps ensure that children can absorb the nutrients they need to thrive. By scheduling a consultation at our office, parents can learn more about the value of early orthodontic care and find out if it would benefit their children.

Kids and Early Orthodontics

Kids and Early OrthodonticsEarly orthodontic treatment can promote normal social development and avoidance of oral health problems later in life. By straightening the teeth as oral development progresses, our orthodontist optimizes results as well as the speed with which patients complete treatment.

How Early Orthodontics Work

Children should have their oral development assessed by age seven. When children need braces, our orthodontist may recommend a single course of braces or a two-stage approach. In the latter case, the second stage generally starts around age 11. The choice between these two options may depend on the types of bite irregularities present and the treatment goals involved.

Advantages of Early Orthodontics

Children often benefit socially from having straighter teeth, but the advantages of early orthodontics extend beyond aesthetic improvements. For example, straight teeth are less likely to foster bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Healthy digestion is also supported by teeth that can chew efficiently.

Depending on the bite irregularities children have, multiple orthodontic treatments may be options. After treatment, patients wear retainers for a limited time to prevent regression of the teeth to their former positions. Parents can learn more about braces for their kids by scheduling a consultation with our expert in early orthodontic treatments in San Pedro.