Treatment for Children and Teens
In some cases acting early can be very beneficial to your child’s overall treatment. How do you know when your child needs early treatment, and how will it be beneficial in the future?
The answer will be different for everyone, but The Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends a visit to the orthodontist once your child turns seven. While treatment is not usually administered at this age, it allows the doctor to assess what will need to be done to properly align adult teeth.
Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
- Large spacing between teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Difficulty with speech
- Large overbite/underbite
Why do orthodontic problems arise and how will proactive treatment help?
The most common reason for overcrowded teeth, too much spacing or overbite/underbite can be caused for a variety of reasons. It can be caused by genetics, an injury to the mouth, early or late loss of teeth and habitual sucking of the thumb.
All baby teeth usually fall out by the age of 13. Around this time jawbones tend to harden and no longer grow. Treatment for adults often involves extracting teeth or oral surgery. By receiving treatment at an early age it is possible to avoid these procedures.
Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct thumb-sucking and help improve minor speech problems
The thought of wearing braces as a teen can be a non-starter for many. However, braces today come in a variety of styles, materials, and colours; making life with braces much easier, more comfortable, and even more stylish than in the past
How long will I have to wear braces?
The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:
Early treatment allows orthodontists to monitor the growth of the jaw and recommend further orthodontic treatment if it becomes necessary. Not everybody receives early orthodontic treatment, and in some cases it may be recommended that a patient wait until they are older to receive treatment.
What needs correction
The amount of treatment needed to correct a problem will determine how long the process takes. Different patients react to treatments differently, so while it may take one patient only 12 months to complete their treatment, it may take another patient 24 months. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the show-stopping smile you expect.
Your willingness to use the appliances your orthodontist gives you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to complete your treatment. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances; this will truly help make your treatment shorter!
Braces Your Way!
Our practice offers a variety of braces, types, and styles to choose from. Some common options include:
- Ceramic braces
- Traditional metal braces
- LightForce Braces
Orthodontic braces are a big part of life for many people your age. While braces may have had a bad reputation in the past, today’s braces make it easy to look good and feel good! Please contact our practice to schedule your next orthodontic checkup.
Let Us Improve Your Child or Teen’s Dental Health
If your child is showing any signs of needing orthodontic treatment, don’t hesitate to contact our practice and book your exam today. We can provide your child with an initial evaluation and figure out a plan of action to help your child get the most out of their smile!