The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. By having your child evaluated at this young age, we can advise you about any orthodontic issues that might be on the horizon.
(In many cases, the evaluation will show that your child's oral development is fine, but it is a good idea to let an orthodontist monitor it.)
In some cases, we will recommend early, interceptive treatment. With early treatment we can take the least invasive approach to everything from making room for adult teeth to advancing and/or expanding your child's jaw. Addressing these issues while they're bones are growing gives us the ability to address things that, left unchecked, could require surgery and more invasive approaches in the future.
Treatment times are generally shorter for children as the bone is softer and teeth can be moved and placed more easily. Potential problems include crowded teeth,spaced teeth, cross-bite, overbite, or under-bite. These can be caused by genetics, finger-sucking, mouth-breathing, poor nutrition, or abnormal swallowing, amongst others.
Our office offers important treatments that can prepare a child for braces such as space maintainers, palatal expansion appliances, and fixed or removable appliances. Space maintainers are used to guard room for the adult teeth to come in, keeping the adjacent teeth from migrating into its place. Palatal expansion appliances are placed on the upper back teeth to widen the jaw so that it fits properly with the bottom jaw and to make space for the adult dentition. Fixed or removable appliances are used to hold teeth in place while the child finishes growing.