For the best treatment results — start early!
Orthodontics for Children
Every Kid Deserves a Perfect Smile
Your child should be visiting his or her dentist every six months. While your family dentist will advise you about any orthodontic treatment your child may require, be on the lookout for the following signs or habits in your child. These should prompt an immediate consultation with an orthodontist!
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting food
- Thumb- or finger-sucking
- Biting the cheeks
- Jaws that shift or make sounds
- Crowding, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
- Bottom teeth digging into the roof of the mouth
- Teeth that meet abnormally or don’t touch at all
- Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face
Parents are encouraged to seek a consultation with an orthodontist whenever they have questions about their children’s teeth.
Why Choose Capital Region Braces?
We emphasize Phase I (or preventive/interceptive) treatment. This is a limited type of orthodontic treatment — before all of the permanent teeth have erupted — that can begin between the ages of six and ten.
Phase I treatment can help:
- Make more space for developing teeth
- Correct crossbites, overbites and underbites
- Correct harmful oral habits
More specifically, early treatment provides an opportunity to:
- Guide the growth of the jaws
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches
- Guide incoming permanent teeth into desirable positions
- Lower the risk of accidental damage to protruded upper incisors (front teeth)
- Correct harmful oral habits such as thumb sucking
- Help to reduce or eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems
- Improve personal appearance and self-esteem
- Recognize problems at an early stage and potentially simplify any procedures that may be required in the future
- Reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth (teeth that should have come in, but have not)
- Preserve or gain space for permanent teeth that are coming in
If you think your child might feel too self-conscious about wearing the familiar “train tracks” style appliance, be aware that traditional metal braces are not the only way to effectively straighten teeth. Depending on personal preference, the age of the child, and the type of orthodontics required, there are several treatment options available, including “invisible” braces and aligner therapy.
Why Is Early Treatment Beneficial?
Early treatment effectively intercepts developing problems and can prevent more extensive treatment later on. Waiting until the patient gets older can mean treatment will be more prolonged, complicated, and costly, and may be subject to limitations or compromises. It’s almost always better to begin treatment when young.
Modifying the growth of a child’s jaw is possible without surgery. A protruding jaw’s growth can be slowed, narrow upper jaws (arches) can be widened, and retruding lower jaws can be brought forward. When facial bones are in proper alignment, a functional bite and good facial appearance can be established.
It’s relatively easy to gain space in the upper and lower jaw (arches) in our growing patients, which usually prevents the need to remove adult teeth. By contrast, removing adult teeth can make the dental arches more narrow and the front teeth appear further back in the profile. The result may be a narrow smile and flat profile with the upper lip sloping back, making the nose more prominent.
Once the second molars have erupted, it can be difficult — if not impossible — to move the molars back to gain space for overlapped teeth or retracting protrusive teeth. This may mean eventual removal of adult teeth for orthodontic correction. It’s much better to preserve teeth whenever possible.
The vast majority of children can be treated without extraction if we can get to them at an early age!