Orthodontic Treatment in Kids 101: All You Need to Know

Orthodontic Treatment in Kids 101: All You Need to Know

Oct 01, 2020

Having crowded and misaligned teeth dampers not only the smile but also your child’s dental health. This can be a source of great pain in children socially, especially at school. Therefore, it is vital to seek orthodontics for kids near you for proper treatment and address these problems early.

What is Orthodontic And Its Purpose?

Orthodontic treatment uses devices such as clear aligner braces to move the teeth and adjust the jaw bone. The purpose of the treatment is to create a healthy and functional bite. When your jaws and teeth do not align properly, they cause a dental challenge that affects the jaw structure. Using the orthodontic treatment promotes both oral and general physical health.

Does My Child Need Braces or Other Orthodontic Treatment?

Several dental problems can indicate that your child needs orthodontic treatment, such:

  • Irregular baby teeth
  • Challenges when biting and chewing
  • Mouth breathing
  • Thumb sucking
  • Biting the cheek on the mouth
  • Teeth that do not meet or do so abnormally
  • Crowded and misplaced teeth

If you notice these dental problems, visit an orthodontist in Del Mar, CA, for assessment. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends getting the first orthodontist assessment at age seven.

At this age, the permanent teeth start to come out, and it is easier for the dentist to notice any abnormal jaw growth. Although the orthodontic treatment does not begin until all permanent teeth have come out, the orthodontist may recommend early orthodontic treatment to improve jaw positioning.

Won’t The Teeth Straighten Out As They Come Out?

No, they do not. The spaces available for the permanent teeth will not increase as the teeth come out. Remember, the primary teeth hold the permanent ones’ space and guide them in coming out. If the baby teeth are crooked and irregular, the permanent teeth will come out irregular too.

If your child has an irregular jaw structure, it can be corrected only with early orthodontic treatment.

When Does The Orthodontic Treatment Begin?

Ideally, there is no right time to start the orthodontic treatment (as adults can also benefit). However, orthodontic procedures are done in two phases. The first phase is the early or interceptive orthodontic treatment that begins at age eight or nine. The second phase starts after all the permanent teeth have come out at age 12.

What Types of Orthodontic Treatments Are Available?

Early interceptive treatments can only correct a few orthodontic problems, and it uses devices such as:

  • Expander. If your child has narrow jaws, it can interfere with how the permanent teeth come out and may cause teeth overcrowding. A palatal expander can help to expand and widen the upper and lower jaw.
  • Interceptive extractions. At times the dentist may recommend baby teeth extraction to make room for the permanent one and ensure they come out correctly.
  • Thumb sucking cessation. Thumb sucking is a normal habit for children because it helps soothe them and keep them calm. However, if the habit continues until the child is seven, it is time to intervene. At this time, the permanent teeth start to come out, and thumb sucking can affect the teeth. The best way to address is to talk to your child or use positive reinforcement. Visit the kid’s dentist for more information on how to help your child stop the thumb sucking behaviors.

Phase two orthodontic treatment involves using braces such as metal or lingual braces. The metal braces are the most suitable for children as it helps to move the roots too. Furthermore, they come in different colors that you can choose and match your child’s preference.

How Long Does The Orthodontic Treatment Last?

The treatment duration will depend on the severity of your child’s dental health. The first phase lasts for a few months, mostly for 18 months. However, there are times the treatment can last for 36 months. After the assessment, the dentist will give you a treatment plan and how long it will correct the teeth to the correct position.

Visit the Sunny Smiles Kids dental clinic for more information on orthodontic treatment for kids.