Orthodontic Treatment for Children
Most people associate the orthodontist with getting braces. In fact, seeing the orthodontist was once a rite-of-passage for American teenagers. However, orthodontic treatment goes well beyond traditional braces. Orthodontic treatment is common even for young children. Orthodontic intervention can start as early as age 6 or 7. This discipline is known as interceptive orthodontics. During this stage of development, a child’s teeth and jaw are still growing. This actually makes it easier for a dentist to address issues like overcrowding.
At Eten Dental office in Bayside, NY we take orthodontic treatment of children very seriously, because it can impact your child’s teeth for a lifetime. If you are concerned about your child’s developing teeth, contact Dr. Hwang as soon as possible. Since early intervention can often prevent more serious problems, it is never too early to visit a dentist.
Dr. Hwang and the experienced professionals at Eten Dental know that children are sometimes uneasy with dentists. We know how to make a visit to the dentist fun rather than intimidating. We can treat young children and will give you a complete analysis of the treatment that is right for your child.
When Should Orthodontic Treatment Begin?
Orthodontists like Dr. Hwang can provide orthodontic treatment of people at any age. However, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic assessment by age of 7. If you believe there is a significant problem for a child under age 7, we recommend calling our office for an appointment. Dr. Hwang can make an assessment of orthodontic needs at any age. Often these children do not require orthodontic treatments or devices and cannot receive certain treatment until they have permanent teeth. However, Dr. Hwang can monitor your child’s condition in order to identify problems as soon as they arise, leading to treatment as soon as it is practicable.
Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatment, when done early, helps dentists detect problems quicker and provides opportunities to resolve the problems when the child is still young. Obviously, treating your child’s dental issues early will have a big impact on development of other serious problems. Seeing a dentist also ensures the child will have healthy growth of permanent teeth. A consultation with Dr. Hwang will help make sure that your child is developing normally.
Early intervention is sometimes possible to resolve issues earlier. For instance, there is a device called a “palatal expander,” that can expand a child’s upper dental arch. By enlarging the dental arch, the chances of adult teeth emerging in a better position.
Early intervention is helpful in other circumstances as well. When a child’s jaw is not in the right place, a functional appliance, like a chin strap, can be prescribed to fix the problem.
Why Do Orthodontists Recommend Orthodontic Screening at Age 7?
At age 7, children should have already visited a general dentist and should schedule their initial orthodontic evaluation. Experts have selected age 7 because by then the child’s adult molars usually have erupted. Once this happens, the child’s back bite is officially established.
An orthodontist like Dr. Hwang is able to examine the way the teeth sit on the jaw and the way the overlap with each other and predict the best kind of treatment as the child gets older.
What Are the Advantages of Treatment?
The benefits of interceptive treatment in children include:
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding teeth
- Creating room for erupting or crowded teeth
- Preserving space for your child’s future teeth that have not yet erupted
- Creating facial symmetry, which leads to proper jaw growth
- Reducing the length of time your child will need braces
- Reducing the need for tooth extractions
Signs Your Child Needs Early Orthodontic Treatment
There are some important signs that your child may need interceptive orthodontic treatment. If you notice any of the following indicators as your child develops, you should call Eten Dental immediately:
- Your child breathes mostly through the mouth
- Early or late loss of the child’s baby teeth
- Your child has a hard time chewing or biting into food
- Your child continues to thumb or finger suck longer than doctors recommend
- Your child has teeth that are blocked, crowded, or misplaced
- The teeth are crowded by age 7 or 8
- The child’s jaw makes a popping sound when opened or closed
- The teeth and jaws that are not proportionate to the child’s face
- Teeth don’t come together when the child bites down, or they come together in an abnormal manner
Who Should Get Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontists prescribe many different kinds of treatments, from surgeries to appliances to physical therapy. Because of this, some patients may good candidates for certain treatments but will not be suitable for others.
Problems in the way a person bites is referred to as “malocclusions.” Malocclusions are any jaw or tooth misalignment in the mouth. A bad bite can impact the way your child chews, smiles and feels about the way the child looks.
Malocclusions must be treated in order to stop the development of other dental conditions. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, studies demonstrate that the treatment of malocclusions can prevent things like overbites, underbites, overcrowded teeth and more.
When there is a bad bite, a child may need an orthodontic treatment. Improving a bad bite does not need to be a frightening experience. It will help improve your child’s quality of life and help the child avoid costly procedures later on in life. As long as your child is in good oral health, without significant decay, the child is eligible for many orthodontic treatments. If there are conditions like cavity or gum disease, these problems must be treated before additional treatments can occur.
Call Our Bayside Dental Office Today
Do you think your child needs an orthodontic evaluation? Do not hesitate to call Eten Dental’s local Bayside office. We are ready to help your child achieve great oral health.