Dr. Nancy Villa and a teammate pose with a kidzdent patient

Early Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment is primarily used to prevent and correct “bite” irregularities.

Most individuals are already familiar with traditional orthodontic treatment that straightens teeth and focuses on proper alignment by using braces or other corrective devices. However they are unaware that orthodontics goes beyond physical appearance, but restores proper oral function. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends children have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. Most children require the guidance of dental and facial development as part of their first phase of orthodontic treatment. Early interceptive orthodontic evaluation is the most effective approach to guide children’s development as they grow and mature.

Early interceptive orthodontic treatment has proven to be extremely beneficial for the overall oral health, development and desired result for a straight, beautiful smile that can last a lifetime. This preventive evaluation, prior to a child’s permanent teeth erupting allows the opportunity for early action and treatment. Our goal is to thoroughly assess the front-to-back and side-to side tooth relationships so we are able to address any impending concerns at the earliest of stages.

During this initial process, the experts at KidZdent will be able to first determine if there are any specific problems or conditions like potential crowding, overbite, cross-bite, open-bite, or an overly gummy smile and other aesthetic issues. After review, we will be able to indicate if immediate treatment is necessary or possibly no treatment needed at all. If further treatment is suggested and discussed, we will design a customized orthodontic plan of action for the child to ensure the ultimate smile is created based off his/her personalized case.

Evaluation Process

KidZdent will determine if early treatment is necessary and beneficial, by conducting a thorough clinical exam, radiographs, photos, study models, assess midlines, and tooth symmetry. Then, we will address all oral habits like nail biting, thumb or finger habits, tongue thrusting, proper techniques of flossing and brushing all to assure good oral hygiene and a successful outcome.

By widening the dental arches, we can create sufficient room for their adult teeth to erupt properly and correct the position of protruding front teeth reducing the risk of dental injuries. Through the use of functional appliances, we can correct oral habits and treat potential speech problems or abnormal swallowing patterns. By gently guiding the growth of their jaws and facial bones, we can help to construct the very best facial profile for your child.

Next Steps

To best serve our patients orthodontic needs we have created a complete orthodontic care plan which will include early recognition and this type of interceptive treatment.  It is our mission to provide early phase orthodontic care with the intention of minimizing or eliminating the need for future orthodontics. The more we guide our patient’s growth and assist with tooth position during eruption, the more we prepare our patients for successful orthodontic results.  Shorter orthodontic care means less compliance issues, less decalcification/decay and gingival issues.

If your child does need a second phase of orthodontic treatment then we have options that are suitable for children and teenagers. We know teenagers can feel particularly self-conscious about wearing braces, which is why we are pleased to provide more discreet options that include clear removable braces, as well as fixed braces that use clear ceramic brackets.

Stage 1: Early Treatment (2-6 years old)

Early orthodontic treatment aims to guide and regulate the width of both dental arches.  The main goal of early treatment is to provide enough space for the permanent teeth to erupt correctly. Good candidates for early treatment include: children who have difficulty biting properly, children who lose baby teeth early, children whose jaws click or grind during movement, bruxers, and children who use the mouth (as opposed to the nose AND mouth) to breathe.

During the early treatment phase, your pediatric dentist works with parents and children to eliminate orthodontically harmful habits, like excessive pacifier use and thumb sucking. The dentist may also provide one of a variety of dental appliances to promote jaw growth, hold space for adult teeth (space maintainers), or to prevent the teeth from “shifting” into undesired areas.

Stage 2: Middle Dentition (6-12 years old)

The goals of middle dentition treatments are to realign wayward jaws, to start to correct crossbites, and to begin the process of gently straightening misaligned permanent teeth.  Middle dentition marks a developmental period when the soft and hard tissues are extremely pliable. In some ways therefore, it marks an optimal time to begin to correct a severe malocclusion.

Again, the dentist may provide the child with a dental appliance. Some appliances (like braces) are fixed and others are removable. Regardless of the appliance, the child will still be able to speak, eat, and chew in a normal fashion. However, children who are fitted with fixed dental appliances should take extra care to clean the entire oral region each day in order to reduce the risk of staining, decay, and later cosmetic damage.

Stage 3: Adolescent Dentition (13+ years old)

Adolescent dentition is what springs to most parents’ minds when they think of orthodontic treatment. Some of the main goals of adolescent dentition include straightening the permanent teeth and improving the aesthetic appearance of the smile.

Most commonly during this period, the dentist will provide fixed or removable “braces” to gradually straighten the teeth. Upon completion of the orthodontic treatment, the adolescent may be required to wear a retainer in order to prevent the regression of the teeth to their original alignment.

Get in Touch

Have questions or need any help from our team? Reach out to us below and one of our team members will get in touch with you as soon as we see your request.

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