In recent years, you may have noticed more and more children of elementary school age with braces and other orthodontic appliances. This is because modern dentist for kids are trained to spot subtle issues with emerging adult teeth and jaw growth even when children still have baby teeth. Early detection and treatment of orthodontic issues can help spare your child from lengthy and invasive treatments later in life, so your Houston dentist for kids will routinely instruct young patients that an orthodontic consultation is advisable to ensure that no problems are overlooked.
Experts recommend that all children undergo an orthodontics evaluation by the age of 7. This is because the first permanent molars have erupted and established the back bite by this time, making it easy for a pediatric orthodontist to evaluate relationships among the teeth. At this stage of a child’s development, we can determine if overbite, crossbite, open bite, tooth crowding, jaw growth discrepancies, and other issues are starting to form. A bad bite only worsens over time, but detecting and treating it early can increase a child’s chances of having a great smile without extensive dental work later in life.
While some issues may only require a wait-and-see approach, your Houston family dentist orthodontist may spot a problem that needs prompt attention. Interceptive treatment can help create room in the dental arch for crowded teeth to erupt, which can also reduce the need for tooth removal later in life to place braces. If baby teeth are lost too soon, an orthodontist can help preserve the space for the un-erupted permanent tooth with a space maintainer. By using special appliances to influence jaw growth, we can create facial symmetry and prevent teeth from protruding. Our Houston orthodontics specialists can even help correct harmful oral habits, such as thumb sucking and tongue-thrusting, that alter the shape of the mouth.
Interceptive treatment is also called phase one treatment, and its goal is to ensure that the upper and lower jaws relate to each other properly and are developed enough to accommodate all adult teeth. Phase one may require the use of expanders to widen the palate and partial braces to shift teeth and make room for other teeth to erupt. When phase one is complete, your child will have a resting period, but once all the adult teeth erupt, he or she will begin phase two treatment, which consists of full braces to straighten teeth.
Early treatment of tooth and jaw development issues can help reduce the time your child needs to wear braces during the second phase of orthodontic treatment, and it can even save them from extensive dental and oral surgery procedures. Our Houston dentist care team is happy to refer you to one of our skilled and friendly on-staff orthodontists, so contact Smile Sonrisa Dental immediately to schedule your child’s evaluation.