Children's Dental & Orthodontist

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Orthodontics

When Should You Consider Orthodontic Treatment for Your Child?

Addressing these issues while your child is still growing and developing may help save your child from having complex treatment plans once their adult teeth have emerged. Getting started early can also help save you time and money down the road. Our dual-trained Pediatric Dental and Orthodontic specialists are able to anticipate and time orthodontic treatment most appropriately.

What Happens at an Orthodontic Evaluation?

At that first visit, we will evaluate your child’s teeth, gums, jaw, and oral hygiene. We will look at your child’s teeth, face, and jaws to determine proper growth and development. X-rays may be given if recent ones aren’t available or don’t provide the correct angles necessary for evaluation. We are explicitly looking at tooth placement, bite and jaw alignment, and the overall development of the mouth and face. We may recommend early treatment if any issues are noticed.

Additionally, if your child displays any of the characteristics below, it’s good to schedule an orthodontic check with us. 

  • Lost their baby teeth earlier or later than expected – Note: Children typically begin losing their baby teeth around age five
  • Has Crowded Teeth
  • Sucks on their thumb after age five
  • Has teeth that don’t come together normally
  • Displays any speech impediments
  • Has trouble chewing or biting
  • Has protruding teeth
  • Experiences a shifting of the jaw when opening or closing their mouth
2 girls showing off their new braces

What are the various bite issues that we look for?

Three common malocclusions (bite problems) are crossbite, crowding, and impacted teeth.

Crossbite – A crossbite exists where the top teeth and bottom teeth do not come together or bite in the correct position. Instead, the upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth when the mouth is closed. If the back teeth are affected, the upper teeth sit inside of bottom teeth, and this is referred to as a posterior crossbite. One or more top teeth sit behind the bottom teeth in an anterior crossbite. This should not be confused with an underbite, where the top teeth are located behind the bottom teeth, and the bottom jaw is pushed strongly forward.

Crowding – Overcrowding of teeth is when there is not enough space in your mouth for your permanent teeth to grow straight, which can cause misalignment of your bite and teeth.

Impacted Teeth – An impacted tooth is a tooth that does not fully erupt above the gums. This is typically caused by overcrowding; your jaw is too small for all of your teeth, or the tooth is erupting in the wrong direction. Not all impacted teeth require oral surgery.

What Orthodontic Treatments Are Available?

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten teeth by using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, there is the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.

Invisalign

Let’s face it. With school, sports, dating, and hanging out with friends, getting metal braces may not be at the top of your list of favorite things to do. With Invisalign Teen®, you can straighten your teeth without metal wires and brackets getting in the way. Invisalign Teen aligners are made of a smooth, clear plastic that is virtually invisible! You’re free to enjoy the things that make these the best times of your life.