Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that fixes the teeth and jaws that are positioned incorrectly. Crooked or misaligned teeth are tougher to clean. Also, teeth that are not well fitted together are more prone to tooth decay, tooth loss, and other dental diseases. Sometimes, misaligned teeth can be the cause of headaches, TMJ syndrome, and even bodily pain, such as the neck, shoulder, and back. Orthodontic treatments have several advantages when done correctly. Your child will have healthier teeth and gums, better-looking teeth, and durability.
Often, parents think that orthodontic treatments are only for pre-teens and teens. However, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, a dental check-up or evaluation with an orthodontic specialist should be made by the time your child reaches the age of 7. Early interceptive treatment, also known as Phase I, is done before all the permanent teeth have emerged, which is usually around age 7 to 10. Early orthodontic evaluation provides you and your child with a prompt detection of any potential orthodontic problem as well as a better chance of successful treatment. After Phase, I, the full orthodontic treatment, called Phase II, will help position your child’s permanent teeth for optimal function and look.
The pediatric dentist can identify if your child needs to undergo orthodontic treatment. Based on your dental history, records, and development, a recommended specialist or an orthodontist can build a suitable treatment plan for your child.
Early or Late Loss of Teeth: Your child experiences early or premature loss of teeth, or baby teeth do not fall out given the reasonable timeline of dental development.
Crowding: Crowding means that your child may have too many teeth for the dental ridge or teeth arch to contain.
Spacing: Your child has spacing when there are gaps or spaces between the teeth. Generally, spacing happens when there are missing teeth.
Overbite: It is also known as “buck teeth”. Overbite happens when the upper front teeth stick out or are too forward over the lower teeth.
Underbite: Underbite occurs when the lower teeth are too forward, or the upper teeth arch is too far back.
Crossbite: Crossbite means that when biting together, the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth.
Open Bite: Open bite is the presence of a space between the biting surfaces of the front or side teeth when the back teeth bite together.
Misplaced Midline: This happens when the center of your child’s upper front teeth does not align or line up with the center of his or her lower front teeth.
The earlier the treatment is, the better the results will be for your child’s developing teeth. If you feel that your child may have any of the dental conditions stated above, do not hesitate to discuss it with your dentist at Kidsmile so we can address it promptly and help your child achieve a healthy and good-looking smile.
The Right Time for an Orthodontic Check-Up: No Later than Age 7, MyLifeMySmile.org by the American Association of Orthodontists https://www.aaoinfo.org/system/files/media/documents/Right_Time_for_Ortho-MLMS-hl.pdf
The Basics of Braces, KidsHealth.org from Nemours https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/braces.html
Dental Braces: When To Start, MayoClinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/braces/expert-answers/dental-braces/faq-20058192
What is Orthodontics?, Colgate https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/teen-oral-care/what-is-orthodontics