Orthodontic Treatment For Children
Many parents are surprised by how much has changed with modern orthodontic treatment. Improvements has lead to more comfortable and faster treatment. Although anxiety exists with some patients, the majority of patients report an overall positive experience at Summer Orthodontics and more often than not even find the process enjoyable.
When is the Best Time to Begin?
Orthodontists recommend all children receive an orthodontic screening by age 7. This can be performed by your child’s general dentist or by an orthodontist. These screenings are offered complimentary by Dr. Summer.
Orthodontic treatment can be started on certain types of tooth problems before all permanent teeth have erupted. Early treatment, usually begun after the four permanent upper and lower teeth have erupted (ages 7 – 9), is recommended when any of these problems are apparent:
- Overjet – Upper front teeth protrude
- Under Bite – Lower front teeth protrude
- Deep Bite – Upper front teeth cover lower front teeth too much
- Crowding – Upper and/or lower teeth are crowded
- Narrow Arches – Upper and/or lower arches too narrow
- Mid-Line Misalignment – Mid-lines of the upper and lower arches do not line up
- Excess Spacing – There is excess space between teeth
Advantages of Early Treatment
- Moves the front teeth back so they will be less susceptible to injury
- Improves the relationship of upper and lower jaws, allowing more normal future growth and development
- Uses maximum advantage of growth for successful treatment
- Improves facial appearance and self-esteem
- Takes advantage of the good cooperation of patients at this age
- May avoid or reduce the need for extraction of teeth when patients are older
Two Phase Treatment
The initial phase of treatment usually takes 12 to 18 months and a variety of appliances may be used to correct specific issues.
- Braces – Placed on the upper and sometimes lower permanent teeth
- Headgear – Worn to move the upper teeth back
- Rapid Palatal Expander – Worn to widen the upper jaw
- Face Mask – Worn to move the upper jaw forward
- Functional Appliance – A removable “retainer” worn to stimulate jaw growth
During the time between the first and second phase, the patient will be seen approximately two times per year to monitor growth.
During the first phase there is no control over the unerupted permanent teeth. If after they grow in, issues still arise, further treatment may be required. A separate fee will be quoted at that time. Treatment time usually takes 12-24 months at age 12 to 13 years.
Metal braces, made of stainless steel, are the most common type of braces used throughout the country. If you choose metal braces for your treatment plan, Summer Orthodontics utilizes the most comfortable, efficient, and technologically advanced metal braces available.
Additionally, one of the great benefits of metal braces is the variety of rubber band colors available. You can choose from different colored rubber bands for your braces to personalize your look. Because it’s so simple to change the colors, feel free to swap them at every visit.
Invisalign Teen uses the same Invisalign technology as adult aligners, moving teeth gradually with each set of clear, comfortable plastic aligners. But because teens (and their mouths) are constantly on the move, we’ve added a few special features.
- Blue wear-indicators fade from blue to clear to help your teen gauge wear time
- Designed to compensate for the growth of new teeth and molars
- Six free individual replacement aligners are included in case any get lost or misplaced
Best of all, Invisalign Teen works. So teens can smile with confidence and parents can, too.
Clear braces are an aesthetic alternative for those who do not want their braces to show as much. Clear braces move your teeth in exactly the same way as traditional metal braces do. Like metal braces, they are extremely comfortable to wear and very efficient at moving teeth.