Orthodontics for Children
Orthodontic evaluation and treatment at an early age is integral in helping your children get off to a great start with their life-long oral health.
If you're a parent with a child who may need orthodontic treatment, we want to put your concerns to rest!
At what age should my child visit the orthodontist for the first time?
Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they are detected at an early age.
The Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should first visit an Orthodontist by the age 7.
Although some children may not require treatment until between the ages of 11 to 13, the first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in around age 7 and cross bites, crowding and other problems can be evaluated.
Can orthodontic correction occur while a child still has some baby teeth?
Yes. Sometimes orthodontic problems can be significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will carefully monitor his or her growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.
What does Phase I Treatment involve?
Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (e.g., expander or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted.
Such treatment typically occurs between the ages of 6 and 10, and is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of crossbites, overbites, underbites, or harmful oral habits.
Will my child still need full braces if he/she has Phase I Treatment?
Phase I Treatment is typically done in anticipation for Phase II treatment, so it is quite likely that your child will eventually need full braces.
Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems.
In other words, Phase I treatment can help make Phase II treatment quicker and more effective.
What can go wrong at an early age?
There are a variety of reasons that a child may need orthodontic treatment at an early age and early phase treatment may reduce or prevent the need for more invasive treatment later.
When treatment is initiated at an early age, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and the incoming permanent teeth.
Any of the following issues may be treated with orthodontics:
- Trouble with chewing and breathing
- Late or early loss of baby teeth
- Teeth that are crowded, loose, or impacted
- Upper and lower teeth that do not meet correctly
- Improper jaw alignment
- Tongue thrusting