Children and Orthodontics

While orthodontic treatment often begins between the ages of 9 and 14,some children’s orthodontic problems can benefit from earlier treatment. If your child does need help, a check-up no later than age 7 will help our orthodontist provide the most appropriate treatment for your child, if any.

Signs that indicate the need for an orthodontic consult:

  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Crowded, misplaces or blocked-out teeth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Jaws that are too far forward or back
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Upper and lower teeth that do not fit well together
  • An unbalanced facial appearance
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth

At Snö, we will never over treat you or your children. However, when it comes to orthodontics, it is particularly important to find out what is essential for health and function, and what is necessary for aesthetics. This is particularly important when misalignments are concerned, as they often improve as children grow. Removing teeth when it is not needed can often lead to severe orthodontic problems later on, thus highlighting the importance of visiting an orthodontist prior to any procedures.

If it appears that your child will need treatment at some point, your orthodontist can advise you about the best time to begin.

If early treatment is indicated, it can give your orthodontist the chance to:

  • Guide jaw growth
  • Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
  • Correct harmful oral habits
  • Improve appearance and self-esteem
  • Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
  • Improve the way lips meet

Not everyone needs orthodontic treatment. However, if your child does need help, a check-up no later than age 7 will help your orthodontist provide the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.

Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment


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Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment

In certain instances, the orthodontist will adopt a two-phase orthodontic treatment plan.

Two-phase orthodontic treatment consists of two separate times when a child receives orthodontic treatment. A first phase of treatment is done while the child still has many or most of their primary or “baby” teeth. A second phase takes place when the child has most or all of their permanent teeth.

A first phase of treatment benefits patients physically, enabling them to bite or chew more effectively. It may reduce the risk of breaking front teeth that protrude.

Most patients will require a second phase of treatment, often with traditional braces, to complete the tooth and jaw alignment that was started during the first phase of treatment. A second phase of treatment moves permanent teeth into their final positions.

first-phase-treatment-imgFirst Phase Treatment

  • The foundation for a lifetime of beautiful teeth
  • Planning now can save smiles later
  • Making records to determine each unique treatment
  • Resting Period
  • Monitoring a patient’s progress

second-phase-treatment-imgSecond Phase Treatment

  • Stay healthy and look attractive
  • Movement & Retention

first-phase-treatment-img

First Phase Treatment

The foundation for a lifetime of beautiful teeth

The goal of first phase treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaws to each other. Children occasionally exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper and lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early age. If children after age 6 are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment.

Planning now can save smiles later

Because they are growing rapidly, children can benefit enormously from an early phase of orthodontic treatment utilizing appliances that direct the growth relationship of the upper and lower jaws. Thus, a good foundation can be established that provides adequate room for eruption of all permanent teeth. This early correction may prevent later removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws. Leaving such a condition untreated until all permanent teeth erupt could result in a jaw discrepancy that is too severe to achieve an ideal result with braces alone.

Making records to determine each unique treatment

Orthodontic records (diagnostics) will be necessary to determine the type of appliances to be used, the duration of treatment time, and the frequency of visits. Records consist of models of the teeth, x-rays, and photographs.

Resting Period

In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are allowed to erupt. Retaining devices are not usually recommended since they may interfere with eruption. It is best to allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement while final eruption of teeth occurs. A successful first phase will have created room for teeth to find an eruption path. Otherwise, the teeth may become impacted or severely displaced.

Monitoring a patient’s progress

At the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions (which will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment). Selective removal of certain primary (baby) teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing the eruption of permanent teeth during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month interval.

second-phase-treatment-img

Second Phase Treatment

Stay healthy and look attractive

The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly.

Movement & Retention

At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records are made and a diagnosis and treatment plan is established. Certain types of appliances are used in the first phase, as dictated by the problem. The second phase is initiated when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure retention of a beautiful smile. This is normally the final phase of treatment.


  • orthodontic-icon

    Orthodontics

     


  • children-orthodontics-icon

    Children and Orthodontics

     


  • fixed-braces-icon

    Fixed Braces

     


  • invisible-braces

    Invisible Braces: Invisalign®

     


  • orthodontic-emergencies-icon

    Orthodontic Emergencies

     


  • orthodontic-questions-icon

    Common Orthodontic Questions