Orthodontic treatment for children
Orthodontic problems are usually apparent by seven to nine years of age. This is the time when most of the adult front teeth have come through. However, in some cases problems may be detected earlier. This is why it’s important to bring your child(ren) in for a consultation with one of our orthodontists.
Benefits of early treatment
Early examination of your child’s teeth and jaws allows us to detect and evaluate orthodontic problems and plan the best treatment. Appropriate intervention can influence growth and development, preventing more serious problems later on. Even when early orthodontic intervention isn’t necessary, we can carefully monitor the growth and development of your child’s teeth and begin treatment when timing is ideal.
How do plates work?
When early treatment is required, it is often needed to correct problems such as crossbites or reduce large overbites. This can be done using plates or removable appliances.Plates sit in the mouth behind the teeth and are used to correct teeth which are too widely spaced or impacted. Occasionally partial braces may be needed for a child when the problem is too complex for a plate.
It is often easier, and more successful, to carry out these types of corrections while there are still some baby teeth present.
Results of early treatment
Some of the specific goals of early orthodontic treatment include:
- Create room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Preserve space for permanent teeth which have yet to erupt and reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth
- Establish facial symmetry or balance by modifying jaw growth
- Harmonize the width of the dental arches
- Eliminate crossbites that, if uncorrected, may negatively affect growth of the jaws or cause premature wear on the teeth
- Lower the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Reduce the need for tooth extraction in the future
- Simplify and/or shorten treatment time for later corrective orthodontics
- Improve some speech problems
- Correct harmful oral habits
- Improve self-esteem
Overall, the purpose of early treatment is to guide the permanent teeth into their correct position and to facilitate proper growth and development of your child’s jaws.