Orthodontics for Children
While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment; There is recommendation that children have an assessment by an orthodontist by age 7. This is important, because orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. Although your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect. If there is a problem, the orthodontist may recommend that treatment is required immediately or indicate that it can be postponed until the child is older.
Each child’s needs are unique. For other children, it makes more sense to wait until the adult teeth are fully erupted and the roots are completely formed. In some cases, it is best to start treatment before all of the adult teeth have erupted, this is called Interceptive Treatment. Your child’s growth pattern will be analyzed so that a unique and customized plan can be developed for optimal results.
Early treatment also may:
- Correct harmful oral habits including thumb sucking, and help improve minor speech problems
- Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- Correct and guide jaw growth
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Guide adult teeth into a more favorable position
- Avoid the need for adult tooth extractions later in life
- Create a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips and face
- Improve appearance and self esteem
Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
Mary’s experience and knowledge allows her to offer a full range of treatment options to your child as well as ensuring your child gets the treatment that best suits. She takes a caring and personal approach to all her patients. Mary will provide your child with a thorough examination, and take time to go through with you personally of all the issues, options and evidence-based treatment steps available to take toward caring of your child's smile to achieve the best possible outcomes. You can be reassured that your child will be provided with the highest quality of care every step of the way.