The most important time to start orthodontics is during childhood.Children should be evaluated as early as age five. In these young yearsthe face, jaw and teeth are still growing and forming. Problems ordeformities can be caught and corrected early on using orthopedics andinterceptive treatments, lessening the need for surgical or prolongedorthodontic treatment in puberty or as an adult. (In many cases, theevaluation will show that the child's oral development is fine, but itis a good idea to let an orthodontist monitor it.) Treatment times aregenerally shorter for children as the bone is softer and teeth can bemoved and placed more easily. Potential problems include crowded teeth,spaced teeth, cross-bite, overbite, or under-bite. These can be causedby genetics, finger-sucking, mouth-breathing, poor nutrition, orabnormal swallowing, amongst others. Early detection and prevention ofthese conditions is vital to the child's smile. Smile esthetics areimportant to the psychological development of children as theydetermine their self-esteem and confidence that will carry them intoadulthood.
Our office offers important treatments that can prepare a child forbraces such as space maintainers, palatal expansion appliances, andfixed or removable appliances. Space maintainers are used to guard roomfor the adult teeth to come in, keeping the adjacent teeth frommigrating into its place. Palatal expansion appliances are placed onthe upper back teeth to widen the jaw so that it fits properly with thebottom jaw and to make space for the adult dentition. Fixed orremovable appliances are used to hold teeth in place while the childfinishes growing.
For more information or to schedule your child's consultation, please call a patient coordinator at (610) 525-2277.