Orthodontics for Children
Although orthodontic treatment can be beneficial for patients of all ages, it is most successful during the adolescent growth spurt, between the ages of 8-14 years old. Timing orthodontic treatment is critical in order to ensure your child has a stable, healthy treatment result. Since every patient is unique, orthodontic specialists are trained to identify the proper time to begin orthodontic treatment. Readiness to begin orthodontic treatment relies more on dental development than chronological age, so it is best to seek the opinion of an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7 to determine the right time to initiate orthodontic treatment.
When Should Children Seek Orthodontics?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should be evaluated by an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. It is at this age that your child’s first set of molars have erupted, giving the orthodontist evidence of how their teeth are growing. By viewing the erupted molars and looking at x-rays, the orthodontist can see possible teeth issues, crowding, bite and jaw problem.
One and Two-Phase Treatment
With orthodontics for children, there are two main options: one-phase treatment and two-phase treatment. One-phase treatment is the traditional orthodontic treatment people of all ages get, where they simply choose a type of braces and wear them for a few years until they have straighter teeth. But with two-phase treatment, the first phase starts when they are a little younger. This involves preparing the teeth and jaw early on during the first phase, so that when they do need braces, less work needs to be done. Overall, it reduces how long the child wears braces and offers them more effective and long-lasting results.
Aside from braces, there are also orthodontic appliances that your child may need from his or her orthodontist. Appliances through orthodontics help the palate expand so they can make more room for their permanent teeth to erupt. This is especially useful in children who are already showing evidence of an overbite, underbite or crossbite. The most common orthodontic appliance is a palatal expander, used for your child’s growing teeth and jaw. Headgear is also available for children who need it, though it is less common with more modern devices and dental technology.
Types of Braces for Children
When it comes to choosing braces and orthodontics to correct your child’s teeth or bite, there are several options available. Traditional metal braces are likely the easiest and least expensive option, and available for just about every type of orthodontic issue. There are also clear braces, which are made of ceramic and are barely visible to others, aside from the wire separating the braces. In some children, lingual braces can be worn, which go on the back of the teeth so they are not visible to others. Finally, there is Invisalign for Teens, which uses clear plastic aligners for straightening the teeth. Invisalign and lingual braces are only viable for mild to moderate problems, while other types of braces help with more severe cases.
Orthodontics for children is recommended as soon as you notice your child’s teeth growing in crooked, have extra spaces, or if they have bite issues.
Dr. Olmsted is committed to providing quality dental care to patients in Oak Ridge, Stokesdale, Colfax, Summerfield, Greensboro, High Point, and Kernersville. If you would like a consultation, call us at 336-441-8301.
If your child is approaching the age of seven, it's time to make an appointment for an initial exam. The American Association of Orthodontists has recommended that the proper age for a child's first visit to the orthodontist is no later than seven years of age. Olmsted Orthodontics strongly encourages this practice.
ABOUT Dr. Olmsted
Dr. Matthew Olmsted, grew up in Summerfield and graduated from Northwest High School. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) and Masters of Science (MS) in Orthdodontics from the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. Read More
RIGHT AGE for Treatment
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that an orthodontist first see a child as early as age seven..
APPOINTMENTS & Scheduling
At Olmsted Orthodontics, we make every attempt to remain on schedule and we realize how important your time is during your daily activities...