The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children have a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. At this age, orthodontists will have a variety of ways to correct your child’s malocclusion (bad or poor bite). At this age your child will have both primary (baby) teeth and permanent teeth. We understand all children develop differently, so we recommend a consultation be obtained in order to determine if your child will require early orthodontic treatment.
Early orthodontic treatment allows the orthodontist to:
- Provide space for the eruption of permanent teeth
- This may prevent the need for extractions due to crowding
- Reduce or eliminate thumb/finger habits that may be detrimental to the mouth
- Correct the width of the upper and/or lower arches to improve the smile
- Correct the growth pattern of the upper and/or lower jaw
- Assist in determining if your child has any conditions affecting his or her airway
The conditions our orthodontist will look for are:
- Crowding or primary (baby) or permanent teeth
- Impacted or ectopic (misaligned) permanent teeth
- Thumb or finger habits
- Mouth breathing
- Open bites (teeth not touching in the front of the mouth)
- Cross bites (teeth that do not come together normally)
- Can be in the front or back of the mouth
If after the examination we determine your child needs orthodontic treatment, we may begin phase I (early orthodontic treatment) with an appliance and/or braces.
Read through the slider below to learn more about Phases of treatment (Phase I, Resting Phase, & Phase II).
Crowding occurs because there is not enough space for the teeth in their current positions. The may lead to periodontal “gum” problems or make it difficult to keep the teeth clean.
Anterior Crossbite – This may be due to localized position of teeth, but it also may be due to improper growth of the jaws. A correct diagnosis and can limit the potential side effects of this type of bite.
Upper jaw constriction may be due to abnormal growth patterns and/or airway issues.
Anterior open bites may be due to digit, tongue, object habits, and improper growth of the jaws. In children, this should be addressed as soon as possible. In adults it may be possible to close the open bite non-surgically, but please consult an orthodontic specialist.
Children with teeth in this position are more likely than other kids to experience some type of trauma to the front teeth.
Impactions and missing teeth occur for several reasons, but the orthodontic specialist can advise you on the best treatment options available for you or your child.
Digit habits should be stopped around the age of 3. If your child still has a digit habit, please consult with an orthodontist on how to stop the habit early in order to reduce improper jaw growth.
This skeletal issue may be due to a combination of factors. In children, we may modify growth to reduce or correct the small lower jaw. In adults, there are options available to help achieve facial harmony.
This skeletal imbalance may actually be due to a small upper jaw or a large lower jaw. In children, we may modify growth to reduce or correct the small upper jaw. In adults, there are options available to help achieve facial harmony.
Let’s talk about
PHASES OF TREATMENT
The objective of phasing orthodontic treatment is to maximize the opportunity to achieve optimal jaw positioning, facial esthetics, and healthy function. Each of the of active treatment phases may consists of tooth straightening and/or jaw growth modificiation. Not all patients require two-phase treatment, but it’s important to see your child at 7 years old to maximize treatment potentials.
The goal of Phase-One is to help develop the upper and lower jaws in order to accomodate the upper and lower teeth. In addition, this treatment phase improves the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. As specialists, Orthodontists are able to diagnose conditions where the upper or lower jaws may be growing too much or too little. We are also able to recognize the condition where the upper jaw may be too narrow. Treatment in this phase may avoid the need to extract teeth later to eliminate crowding, and/or the need for surgical procedures to place the upper and lower jaws in optimal positions for facial harmony.
In this phase, we are monitoring the eruption of permanent teeth. Retainers may or may not be used at this time because they may block the eruption of other teeth. If phase-one is successful, there should be sufficient room for the permanent teeth. During this time we may have periodic follow up appointments, at 6 month intervals, to determine when phase-two should be initiated. If needed, we may recommend removal of certain primary “baby” teeth to enhance eruption of the permanent teeth.
The goal of Phase-Two is to place the upper and lower teeth in specific locations in the mouth in order to have optimal function, occlusion, and esthetics. This exact location is determined by the orthodontist in order to promote harmony between the cheeks, lips, tongue, and other teeth. In this phase of treatment, our tools may include upper and lower braces, Invisalign, and other treatment modalities below in order to achieve the smile you deserve.
PLANNING NOW CAN SAVE YOUR SMILE LATER
If you have children who need braces or who are under seven years old, and you want to learn more about braces for kids, contact us! We here at Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics of Jupiter are happy to assist you and your child with any questions you may have prior to treatment.