Crowded teeth, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, premature loss of baby teeth, or an airway obstructed by enlarged adenoids or tonsils can all contribute to poor tooth positioning. And then there are hereditary factors. Extra teeth, large teeth, missing teeth, wide spacing, small jaws – all can be causes of crowded teeth. And crowded teeth need orthodontic treatment.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends an orthodontic screening before your child turns 7 years old. By the time your child is 7, their teeth and jaws are developed enough so that we can see if there will be any serious bite problems in the future. Generally, we don’t need to provide orthodontic treatment at such a young age, but this screening will give you and us time to watch the development your child and decide on the best mode of treatment. When you have time on your side you can plan ahead and prevent the formation of serious problems.
All that being said, we do recommend beginning needed orthodontic treatment when your child is fairly young. While your child’s skeleton is still growing and flexible, we can more easily correct serious orthodontic problems – translating to less time in orthodontic appliances! By correcting skeletal problems at a younger age we can prepare your child’s mouth for the eventual eruption of the permanent teeth. If the permanent teeth have adequate space to erupt they will come in fairly straight. After the permanent teeth have erupted, usually from age 12-14, complete braces are placed for final alignment and detailing of the bite. Thus, the final stage of treatment is quicker and easier for you and your child, with many children only spending approximately 18 months in braces.
Basically, orthodontic treatment means that we are repositioning your child’s teeth, for both function and aesthetics. By applying light pressure over a period of time, we can successfully move your child’s teeth into correct alignment. Pressure is applied by using a variety of orthodontic hardware (appliances), the most common being a brace or bracket attached to the teeth and connected by an arch wire. Periodic changing of these arch wires puts pressure on the teeth. At different stages of treatment your child may wear a headgear, elastics, a positioner or a retainer. Most orthodontic appointments are scheduled 4 to 8 weeks apart to give the teeth time to move.
When teeth are first moved, discomfort may result. This usually lasts about 24 to 72 hours. Our patients report a lessening of discomfort as the treatment progresses. Pain medicines such as ibuprofen (Advil) usually help relieve the discomfort.
Orthodontic Treatment Options include:
Financials:Orthodontic treatment from $98 per month