Orthodontics for Children
Dr. Zach recommends an initial screening appointment around the age of 7 to 8 years old. This does not mean your child needs treatment at this age, but it is simply a great time to check on his or her growth and developement to get a baseline for any future problems. By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, and future orthodontic needs can be evaluated.
Early Orthodontic Treatment (also known as Phase 1 or Early Braces) is typically done in cases where there are jaw growth issues or teeth are not coming in on schedule, and waiting until teenage years is not recommended. It is done at an earlier age (7- to 10-year-olds) as a supplement to future orthodontic treatment.
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
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
Early treatment allows us to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Reduce the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems
What if my child doesn’t need early treatment?
That’s great news! That means your son or daughter is like the majority of the kids in our office, and we will simply monitor growth until your youngster may be ready for treatment. Growth check appointments are complimentary, and they are important to ensure your child’s teeth are growing on time and in the correct place so that orthodontic treatment can be started at the right time.