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Office Hours:
Mon: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tue: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wed: 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Thur: 7:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

 
 

For Children

Your child should be checked by an orthodontist by the age of 7. An early orthodontic examination when both permanent and baby teeth are present will detect or intercept problems early, and help ensure maximum dental and facial development for your children. Contrary to popular belief, you do not always have to wait for all the permanent teeth to solve orthodontic problems. In fact, some treatment options are lost once bony growth has stopped.

In many cases where teeth are becoming crowded, we will start making up room in the mouth for new, "up-and-coming" teeth while the jaw is still growing. This will prevent or greatly minimize the removal of permanent teeth in the years to come, while maximizing the development of a beautiful face.

Again, not everyone needs braces, and surely not at seven or eight years of age. An early examination will let you know if treatment is needed. We believe strongly in ideal treatment timing to prevent the removal of permanent teeth whenever possible.

The ideal time to start treatment ranges from seven to 13 years or older, depending on the severity of the problem, skeletal growth and facial type. It is also the best time for the patient to be treated, if treatment is needed. Treatment at the early age, is called Phase 1 treatment. It is limited orthodontic treatment before all of the permanent teeth have developed.

Children can benefit from an early phase of orthodontic treatment because they are growing rapidly and corrections will simplify later treatment. The orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth during early treatment. These early corrections may prevent later removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or prevent surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws.

Orthodontists are dental specialists who correct bite and jaw problems in children and adults. They have achieved specialist status by successfully completing a minimum of two years of advanced orthodontic training at a university approved by the American Dental Association.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children have an orthodontic screening no later than age 7. Why?:

  • The posterior occlusion is established when the first molars erupt. At that time, one can evaluate the antero-posterior and transverse relationships of the occlusion, as well as discover any functional shifts.
  • Incisors have begun to erupt and problems can be detected such as crowding, habits, deep bites, open bites and some facial asymmetries.
  • For some, a timely screening will lead to significant treatment benefits; for most, the principal immediate benefit is a parent's peace of mind.
  • The dentist who makes timely referrals is rightly regarded as informed, caring and concerned for the total well-being of the patient.

Early Screening

Early orthodontic screening can lead to simpler, more effective treatment for dental patients or, at the least, greater peace of mind.

Typical problems that might require early treatment are:

  • Thumb, finger and tongue habits that destroy the shape of the upper jaw.
  • Severely crowded teeth.
  • Excess spaces between teeth.
  • Deep bites, overbites or underbites.
  • Cross bites or narrow upper jaws.
  • Severely protruding teeth (especially at risk at the playground).
  • Extra or missing teeth.

Early treatment presents the opportunity to:

  • Influence jaw growth in a positive manner
  • Improve eruption patterns
  • Correct harmful oral habits
  • Simplify and/or shorten treatment time for later corrective orthodontics
  • Improve some speech patterns harmonize width of the dental arches
  • Lower risk of trauma to protruded upper incisors
  • Improve aesthetics and self-esteem
  • Reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth
  • Preserve or gain space for erupting permanent teeth.