Orthodontics in Children

While many people think of teens when it comes to orthodontic treatments, younger children can benefit from orthodontics in certain scenarios.

Generally, we do not advise orthodontic treatment until a child has all of his or her adult teeth, usually around twelve years of age. However, some cases may require earlier orthodontic intervention. According to The Australian Association of Orthodontists, a child should be seen for an orthodontic assessment when a problem arises.

Thumb sucking children

1. Thumb Sucking

The longer a child sucks his or her thumb, the higher risk of damage to the teeth. We offer various solutions to help stop this harmful habit.

Girl holding adult teeth model

2. Maintaining Space in a Child's Mouth

Maintaining space for permanent teeth is key for oral health. Early loss of baby teeth can result in the shifting of surrounding teeth, blocking the path of adult teeth that will eventually erupt. Maintaining space is easy to manage by providing a child with a very simple orthodontic appliance.

A young boy in a dental chair giving the thumbs up.

3. Help Adult Teeth Erupt Properly

Prevention is better than treatment. If we assess a child early on, we can make sure teeth are erupting in a proper manner. This helps prevent teeth from becoming stuck or impacted. Early interceptive treatment of potentially impacted teeth resolves the problem in almost all cases.

Medical imaging of a jaw.

4. Modify Jaw Growth

When it comes to jaw growth, we watch for teeth that stick out too far so we can improve the position of the teeth, lower the chance of traumatic injuries, and improve appearance. Treating this problem at the proper age is crucial. Another area we watch when it comes to jaw growth is prominent lower teeth, more commonly referred to as an underbite. If addressed early, it often prevents more complicated treatment later on.

A diagram image of what an abnormal bite may appear on a patient.

5. Correct Abnormal Bites

It is important to diagnose and address crossbites early on. Bite abnormalities can lead to excessive tooth wear, reduction in space for adult teeth, and gum issues such as a recession. The earlier a crossbite is addressed, the easier it is to treat. In children, crossbites can usually be fixed fairly easily with orthodontic appliances.

Overcrowded in a child's mouth held open by a thumb.

6. Relief of Crowding

Crowding refers to teeth that do leave enough space to accommodate adult teeth. Early management of crowding can help prevent the issue from occurring in adult teeth and prevent future problems.
Learn More About Child Orthodontist

If your child has been referred to an orthodontist for treatment and you would like to learn more, please contact us today. We would be glad to answer any questions you have or address any concerns.

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