Children’s Dental Health proudly offers orthodontic services to patients for ongoing, quality oral care, and convenience. Parents seeking orthodontic care for their children can now save time and avoid the hassle of finding a new practice for additional treatment. Our child-friendly practices provide patients and families with a comfortable, consistent experience from comprehensive dentistry to full orthodontic care!
Pediatric dentistry and orthodontics go hand in hand, as the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic exam no later than the age of seven. Having an experienced orthodontist alongside the pediatric dentists allows for greater collaboration between our two specialties, which ultimately is very beneficial to your child’s oral health.
Why is orthodontics important?
While pediatric dentists focus on the health of the teeth and gums, orthodontists focus on the growth and development of the teeth and jaw. The services provided by an orthodontist ensure proper spacing and alignment to allow for not only an attractive smile, but a healthier smile. Properly aligned teeth make brushing and flossing easier, reduce the risk of decay, and are less likely to be fractured or damaged during falls or other injuries. More extreme cases, such as facial and jaw malalignment, can also be corrected with orthodontic treatment and can improve airway flow, reduce pain, and dramatically increase self-esteem in growing children.
Our pediatric dentists may notice preliminary orthodontic problems, but only an orthodontist can give a comprehensive evaluation to determine the proper course of action. Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, can be permanently changed and enhanced by orthodontic treatment. Our orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide patients with professional, personalized treatment plans.
Benefits of early orthodontic treatment
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children by the age of seven visits an orthodontist to assess potential tooth and jaw problems. Early orthodontic treatment is advantageous because a young child’s teeth have not finished erupting, which allows orthodontists to guide the growth of facial and jawbones to address any problems at the earliest stage possible.
The goal of early treatment is to prevent a developing problem, eliminate the cause, and guide the growth of the facial and jawbones to prepare enough space for permanent teeth. A patient may require a second course of treatment after all permanent teeth have come in to move those teeth into their best positions.
An orthodontist may recommend treating a child who still has their baby teeth if they discover the following issues:
- Underbites – when the lower front teeth are ahead of the upper front teeth
- Crossbites – when the jaw shifts to one side
- Crowded front teeth
- Teeth that are spaced too far apart
- Extra or missing teeth
- Teeth that meet abnormally, or do not meet at all
- Thumb, finger, or pacifier sucking, that affects the teeth or jaw growth
While some of these issues are inherited, others may result from accidents, dental disease, or abnormal swallowing. Early orthodontic treatment can take many forms, and each plan will consider the patient’s oral growth and development. The orthodontist could prescribe a fixed or removable appliance to change the position of the jaw, move teeth, or hold teeth in place to see desirable changes. Sometimes appliances are not necessary, and rather, the removal of baby teeth may help the permanent teeth erupt better.