Treatment for Children and Teens
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an initial evaluation by age seven.
By age seven, or the second grade, your child’s permanent teeth are beginning to erupt. Having an orthodontic evaluation at this age enables us to determine whether your child’s jaws fit together properly and whether there will be adequate space for permanent teeth. At this age we can guide and redirect the growth of the jaws, reducing the risk for more extensive procedures such as jaw surgery in the future. This intervention phase is Phase I of a two-phase treatment plan.
Two-phase treatment is intended to correct developing jaw problems before they become more severe. This will greatly shorten the time with braces and minimize the need for extracting permanent teeth. The first phase corrects the skeletal (jaw) problems, while the second phase straightens individual teeth.
Ideal timing for the first phase is around to age seven and typically lasts nine months. Braces are started after all the permanent teeth have erupted around age 12.
If your child is not ready to begin treatment, which we will determine at their first visit, we place them in a Growth Observation Program. We are committed to making sure no problem goes undiagnosed and beginning treatment at the ideal time so these visits are completely free of charge!
Our goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time in order to achieve the best results. The best way to ensure your child receives the best treatment is to have their initial consultation done around their 7th birthday.
Problems that may require early treatment:
- Overbite or “buck teeth”
- Losing baby teeth too early or too late
- Difficulty chewing or biting into things
- Crowded teeth
- Finger sucking or pacifier habits beyond the age of five
- A bite that does not close in the front
- Upper front teeth growing in behind the bottom front teeth (underbite)
- Upper front teeth that cover more than half of the bottom front teeth when biting
- Weak or prominent chin (often indicative of a jaw development issue)
- Teeth that wear unevenly or do not meet
- Jaws that shift off center when biting down
- Excessive spacing
- Mouth breathing
Teens have a lot going on in life. They’re building their first relationships, developing into an adult, preparing for the future, and discovering who they are as a person. Because of this, this is probably the time they feel the most self-conscious. The thought of braces is the last thing they want to add into their hectic and changing lives.
Thankfully our office offers discreet treatment that makes braces something to help them feel their best. With invisible braces that go behind the teeth, clear braces, Invisalign, and SPEED braces, our goal is to help teens feel as comfortable as they can.
Most importantly, we strive to give teens the smile that will help them have the confidence they need to accomplish their goals and achieve success as adults!