What You Need to Know About Pediatric Orthodontics

Posted on: July 15, 2017

Pediatric OrthodonticsBy offering pediatric orthodontics, we help children to improve their smile even before they start to wear braces. Our goal is to help patients have the most beautiful smile possible. One of the ways that we do so is by treating children at a young age. While not all orthodontists see children prior to the age of 10 or 11, we can examine them as early as seven years of age.

We can improve oral health early on

Typically, at this point, they will not be ready for traditional braces. However, there are other orthodontic solutions that could be useful in improving their smile at this age. Most parents we speak with are unsure of at what age their child will need braces and if they should bring them to an orthodontist at all.

Even parents who are certain their child will need braces are not sure when to make that first appointment. Here are a few indications that you can watch for.

A child may need pediatric orthodontics if:

  • The child’s teeth fall out prematurely due to an accident or dental infection that requires an extraction
  • The permanent teeth are growing in sideways, behind or on top of other teeth
  • The jaw does not come together correctly when the child bites down or the child has a noticeable overbite

A family dentist may also suggest that a child visit an orthodontist due to an issue they notice during a routine examination.

Necessary steps with pediatric orthodontics

While there are several steps with pediatric orthodontics, the first is always to schedule an examination. We will physically examine a child’s teeth and jaw so we can know the exact position of each baby tooth and any permanent teeth that are present. This examination will allow us to determine if there appears to be enough space in the mouth for all the permanent teeth.

We will also observe how the jaw comes together to see if there are any abnormalities that the teeth or the actual jaw bone cause. This will allow us to make a treatment recommendation that is specific to the child, inclusive of both immediate and future treatments. If it does not appear that they need orthodontic care at this time, we will indicate that as well.

Each patient is unique

When a child is young, we will not place braces on their teeth simply because their teeth are not permanent and will fall out. However, some of the early treatments that we offer are focused around creating more space for those permanent teeth to grow in. Braces become necessary when there are issues of overcrowding or the teeth move out of their position due to early tooth loss.

Solutions such as an expander or spacer can be incredibly useful for creating enough room so teeth move in correctly. This will in turn work to shorten the duration of time braces will be worn in the future.

Schedule a consultation

Each child is unique and so is the treatment plan that they will need to follow for a straight and beautiful smile. To find out what would be required for your child, call and schedule an appointment today.