ORTHODONTICS FOR KIDS

Early detection

In recent years, you may have noticed more and more elementary school-age children with braces and other orthodontic appliances. Pediatric dentists these days are being trained to spot subtle issues with emerging adult teeth and jaw growth even when children still have their baby teeth. Early detection and treatment of orthodontic problems can help spare your child from lengthy and invasive procedures later in life. Our pediatric dentists will routinely inform young patients if an orthodontic consultation is advisable to ensure that no problems are overlooked.

Orthodontics for kids

Early treatment of tooth and jaw development issues can help reduce the time your child needs to wear braces during the second phase of orthodontic treatment, and it can even save them from extensive dental and oral surgery procedures. Our pediatric dentists are happy to refer you to one of our skilled and friendly on-staff orthodontists, so contact Smile Sonrisa Dental & Orthodontics immediately to schedule your child’s evaluation.

What pediatric orthodontics can accomplish

While some issues may only require a wait-and-see approach, your family dentist orthodontist may spot a problem that needs prompt attention. Interceptive treatment can help create room in the dental arch for crowded teeth to erupt, which can also reduce the need for tooth removal later in life to place braces. If baby teeth are lost too soon, an orthodontist can help preserve the space for the un-erupted permanent tooth with a space maintainer. By using specific appliances to influence jaw growth, we can create facial symmetry and prevent teeth from protruding. Our orthodontics specialists can even help correct harmful oral habits, such as thumb sucking and tongue-thrusting, that alter the shape of the mouth.

Seven: the magic number

Experts recommend that all children undergo an orthodontics evaluation by the age of 7. This recommendation is because the first permanent molars have erupted and established the back bite by this time, making it easy for a pediatric orthodontist to evaluate relationships among the teeth. At this stage of a child’s development, we can determine if overbite, crossbite, open bite, tooth crowding, jaw growth discrepancies, and other issues are starting to form. A bad bite only worsens over time but detecting and treating it can increase a child’s chances of having a great smile without extensive dental work later in life.

Phase two orthodontic treatment

Interceptive treatment is also called phase one treatment, and its goal is to ensure that the upper and lower jaws relate to each other properly and are developed enough to accommodate all adult teeth. Phase one may require the use of expanders to widen the palate and partial braces to shift teeth and make room for other teeth to erupt. When phase one is complete, your child will have a resting period, but once all the adult teeth erupt, he or she will begin phase two treatment, which consists of full braces to straighten teeth.

Interceptive Orthodontics

Our orthodontic services go far beyond just braces for straightening teeth. Interceptive orthodontics is diagnosing and treating problems as soon as they are detected. It could help to avoid many teeth extractions and contribute to treatment with better results in the end. Early orthodontic treatments are also available to help preserve spaces or create room for crowded teeth to erupt correctly. Orthodontic treatments can also help influence proper jaw growth for facial symmetry. Traditional braces may still be needed later, but interceptive orthodontic care often helps shorten the treatment time.

Questions?

Visit our FAQ page to review the most common questions about dental care or call us  and one of our staff members will happily assit you.

Our orthodontists, Dr. Mauricio Argüello, D.D.S., M.S., and Dr. Eduardo A. Mejía, D.D.S., M.S are members of the American Association Of Orthodontists.