Orthodontics for Children

Early Orthodontic Treatment for Kids – Prevention is Better than a Cure

A nice smile will do a lot to elevate your child’s self–esteem. However in addition to straightening teeth, orthodontics for children is more importantly used to guide growth. Phase I synonymous with Interceptive Treatment or Growth Modification guides a child's skeletal growth pattern to correct imbalanced proportions. Children should come in no later than 7 years old for an examination as recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists. 

Your child may require orthodontic treatment if one of the following is diagnosed:

  • Overbite and underbites

  • Early loss of teeth

  • Protruding teeth

  • Thumb sucking 

  • Tongue thrusting 

  • Severe crowding

  • Impacted teeth

 

What is Involved in Early Treatment and Its Benefits

Early detection of problems are much easier to treat and sometimes only possible while a child is growing. It can also prevent costly and time-consuming procedures in the future.

Phase I typically only involves the permanent teeth and baby teeth are left alone. This usually involves only partial braces (the front upper 4 teeth and 2 back molars). An appliance may be added if required. At 7 years old, this is called the mixed dentition phase and many more opportunities are open for dental and skeletal (orthopedic) correction. A retainer will be given to maintain any corrections.

Dr. Liu will diagnose any problems and will recommend treatment if only found to be significantly beneficial to your child's health at this early age and should not wait to be treated.  

  • Speech problems

  • Narrow jaw

  • Deep bites where the lower teeth bite the palate

  • Open bite where there is a space between top and bottom teeth when biting down

  • Midline shift when teeth shift from the center of the face

  • Simplify and shorten treatment time for Phase II

  • Improve speech development

  • Improve the position of erupting teeth

  • Preserve or create more space for erupting teeth

  • Guide permanent teeth into more favorable position(s)

  • Improve lip competence, keeping the lips together

  • Take advantage of increased orthodontic compliance before the busy teenage years

  • Influence jaw growth in a positive manner

  • Improve the width of the dental arches

  • Reduce the need to extract permanent teeth

  • Reduce/eliminate the need for jaw surgery

  • Mitigate the risk of trauma to (or breakage of) protruding front teeth

  • Correct harmful oral habits

  • Improve facial aesthetics, which translate to higher self-esteem

Keep in mind early evaluation is important but does not always require treatment. As a complimentary service we will monitor your child's growth and inform you if treatment is ever needed.