Orthodontics for children

Orthodontics for children

Orthodontics for children

While orthodontic treatment can improve smiles at any age, there may be an optimal time for individual patients to begin treatment in order to achieve maximum improvement in a minimum amount of time.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child’s first visit to an orthodontist takes place no later than age seven if an orthodontic problem is detected. Depending on the type of problem, this first visit could take place as early as age four to six.

Sometimes, malocclusions are present behind seemingly acceptable smiles. And while treatment may not be started until years later, early examination allows the orthodontist to detect and evaluate problems and plan appropriate treatment at the optimum time. In some cases, early treatment may be initiated to prevent more serious problems from developing. This early intervention may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.

Your orthodontist will design a unique treatment plan for each and every child which will be determined from a clinical, photographic and x-ray examination. Following the diagnosis of your child’s specific problems, a bespoke treatment plan will be designed.

Braces that are typically used in treating children:

Removable appliances

Removable appliances

These can be used to push individual teeth into correct positions or to widen/expand the jaws.

"Twin Block" & Functional appliances

These are special removable braces which can help control and manipulate the growth of the jaws. Certain types of functional braces can be fixed into the mouth.

"Train Tracks" or fixed braces

When glued to the teeth each bracket can correct the positions of individual or groups of teeth. Special fixed appliances, called rapid palatal expanders, can be used to expand or widen the roof of the mouth to create space for crowded teeth or to improve the bite.

Headgear

Headgear

These are used to move the upper teeth backwards and can sometimes be useful to slow down the growth of the upper jaw. A variation, called a facemask can be used to pull the upper jaw and teeth forward.

Retainer

Retainers

These can be removable or fixed, and their main purpose is to hold the teeth in place to prevent any movement.