Children & Teens
Orthodontic treatment is most effective when carried out on children and it is highly recommended that a child’s first visit to the orthodontist should occur around 7 years of age. At this age, there is generally a mix of baby and adult teeth which makes it easier for the orthodontist to detect abnormal development of the jaws, habits that may be harder to correct in older children (like a lisp, or abnormal swallowing pattern). Careful attention is paid to habits that may affect jaw development, such as thumb sucking or mouth breathing.
This is also a perfect time to check if all permanent teeth are present, and developing normally. Usually this is assessed with the help of a screening x-ray called an OPG.
If you are unsure whether or not your child may need to see an orthodontist, here are a few indicators to look for:
- Teeth that bite together abnormally, or do not bite together at all
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty in eating
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb sucking
- Crowded or misplaced teeth
- Oddly shaped jaws that do not sit in line with the rest of the face
- Any early removal of baby teeth due to trauma or decay.
For most children, no treatment is required this early, and we review the child’s dental and facial development with complimentary 6-12 monthly recall appointments.
Most orthodontic problems are best corrected with treatments that start just before or just after the onset of puberty, and in most children this coincides with the loss of the last baby teeth.
While braces are still the most common treatment for teens, we have other options available to straighten your teeth without a mouth full of metal. We offer Sure Aligners, Invisalign Teen, Porcelain (clear) braces and Lingual braces if you want to keep your treatment invisible.
Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.