The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children have a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. At this age, orthodontists will have a variety of ways to correct your child’s malocclusion (bad or poor bite). At this age your child will have both primary (baby) teeth and permanent teeth. We understand all children develop differently, so we recommend a consultation be obtained in order to determine if your child will require early orthodontic treatment.
Early orthodontic treatment allows the orthodontist to:
- Provide space for the eruption of permanent teeth
- This may prevent the need for extractions due to crowding
- Reduce or eliminate thumb/finger habits that may be detrimental to the mouth
- Correct the width of the upper and/or lower arches to improve the smile
- Correct the growth pattern of the upper and/or lower jaw
- Assist in determining if your child has any conditions affecting his or her airway
The conditions our orthodontist will look for are:
- Crowding or primary (baby) or permanent teeth
- Impacted or ectopic (misaligned) permanent teeth
- Thumb or finger habits
- Mouth breathing
- Open bites (teeth not touching in the front of the mouth)
- Cross bites (teeth that do not come together normally)
- Can be in the front or back of the mouth
If after the examination we determine your child needs orthodontic treatment, we may begin phase I (early orthodontic treatment) with an appliance and/or braces.
Read through the slider below to learn more about Phases of treatment (Phase I, Resting Phase, & Phase II).
Crowding occurs because there is not enough space for the teeth in their current positions. The may lead to periodontal “gum” problems or make it difficult to keep the teeth clean.
Anterior Crossbite – This may be due to localized position of teeth, but it also may be due to improper growth of the jaws. A correct diagnosis and can limit the potential side effects of this type of bite.
Upper jaw constriction may be due to abnormal growth patterns and/or airway issues.
Anterior open bites may be due to digit, tongue, object habits, and improper growth of the jaws. In children, this should be addressed as soon as possible. In adults it may be possible to close the open bite non-surgically, but please consult an orthodontic specialist.
Children with teeth in this position are more likely than other kids to experience some type of trauma to the front teeth.
Impactions and missing teeth occur for several reasons, but the orthodontic specialist can advise you on the best treatment options available for you or your child.
Digit habits should be stopped around the age of 3. If your child still has a digit habit, please consult with an orthodontist on how to stop the habit early in order to reduce improper jaw growth.
This skeletal issue may be due to a combination of factors. In children, we may modify growth to reduce or correct the small lower jaw. In adults, there are options available to help achieve facial harmony.
This skeletal imbalance may actually be due to a small upper jaw or a large lower jaw. In children, we may modify growth to reduce or correct the small upper jaw. In adults, there are options available to help achieve facial harmony.