A Few Things About Children Orthodontics You Should Know

There are a few factors that may make it absolutely necessary for your child to have orthodontic treatment. The factors include the following –

  • Crowding of the teeth
  • Difficulty for the adult teeth to erupt (this happens mostly because of lack of space in the mouth)
  • Remedial measures to bite problems
  • Growth modification – to improve the size and shape of the little one’s jaws based on his or her growth pattern

To cut a long story short, orthodontic treatments for children are meant to make their talking, eating and other basic functions of the mouth easier. The treatments are also aimed to make their task of maintaining a sound oral hygiene hassle-free. In addition to the factors mentioned above, children’s orthodontics help kids hold on to a natural beautiful smile life-long.

As a matter of fact, there is no fixed age to begin orthodontic treatment for kids. However, the ideal time is when the adult teeth just start erupting. At this stage a little monitoring helps smooth growth and development of both the teeth and the jaws. As we all know the adult teeth start erupting since age six. There is as such no need to start any treatment this early but identifying problems at this stage definitely helps sorting them out easily at a later stage.

Orthodontics for kids includes monitoring the growth and development of the skull and the face. Under normal circumstance it is the responsibility of your general regular dentist to identify the need of a specialist orthodontic for your child. The first step of this specialist care starts with a thorough orthodontic assessment. It starts with a careful examination of the teeth and the jaws, which may be followed by an x ray. A mould of your child’s teeth is taken to create an impression. Combining these records with the clinical assessment of the child an effective treatment plan gets designed.

The child may also be asked a few questions, like –

  • Do you suck thumb?
  • Is there any difficulty in chewing or swallowing?
  • Has there been an ulcer in the mouth?
  • Is there a bothering element about your teeth?
  • What is it that you would like to change about your teeth?

An orthodontic treatment plan for a child covers many aspects including the aim of the treatment, precise expectations during the treatment phase and most importantly, how to have the teeth retained in their new and desired position for years to come.

Usually, children who have all the adult teeth have already erupted are prescribed ‘train tracks’ or ‘fixed braces’ as orthodontic appliance. This range of appliance includes wires, brackets and rubber bands that are placed on the teeth and then tightened slowly to exert pressure. Braces can be aesthetically appealing and clear or can be colourful as well. Moreover, these can or cannot be of metal and more importantly can be an overall mixture.   

Children who have a mixture of adult and baby teeth in the mouth are usually given ‘interceptive orthodontics’. These braces can be removable in one hand while sparkly and colourful just like fixed braces in the other. Now the question that may arise is why is it so? Interceptive orthodontics simplifies any treatment that is carried out later in life using fixed braces.

Here are a couple of examples of interceptive orthodontics –

  • Helping the growth and development of the lower jaw to boost the profile of your child
  • Widening of a narrow upper jaw resulting from thumb sucking habit

Usually this is only the first phase of the treatment after which your child will be thoroughly assessed again before going over to the next phase, points out a renowned Invisalign dentist.

Orthodontic treatment even if for children is a time-taking procedure. It is important that your child keeps up with the scheduled appointments without fail to facilitate monitoring the progress.

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