Get a Head Start on a Beautiful Smile
As a parent in Irving and the surrounding areas, you want the best for your child. That includes healthy teeth and a pleasing smile.
Dr. Kimberly H. Travers and the team here at Travers Orthodontics will treat your children like our own by always giving them the best possible orthodontic care.
Kids Should Get an Orthodontic Check-Up By 7
It is never too late to begin orthodontic treatment as an adult. When it comes to a child’s teeth, however, the truth holds in the opposite way: earlier may be better than later.
In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists recommend for kids to have their first orthodontic screening at age seven, even if actual treatment doesn’t begin for another few years. At Travers Orthodontics, we are committed to determining the best plan of treatment for our patients, and for our youngest, getting started early may be the most effective course to take.
By seven years old your child's teeth have developed enough for subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth to still be spotted while some baby teeth are still present.
This check-up may reveal that your child's bite is fine, and braces for kids aren't necessary.
Or, Dr. Travers may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring your child's growth and development, and then, if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time for your child.
In other cases, Dr. Travers might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.
What Is Early Treatment?
Early treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.
In some cases, Dr. Travers will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
Choosing the Best Time for Treatment
While the age that kids get braces may vary, orthodontic treatment most often begins between the ages of 9 and 14. Some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they’re treated early.
If Dr. Travers thinks your child will need treatment, he’ll let you know when it will be best to begin treatment. This gives your orthodontist the best chance to:
- Guide jaw growth
- Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- Correct harmful oral habits
- Improve appearance and self-esteem in your child
- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
- Create a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips and face
Signs the Bite's Not Right
It's not always easy to tell when your child may need braces or has an orthodontic problem. Even teeth that look straight may be hiding a problem bite.
Here are some clues that may indicate the need for orthodontic attention:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Breathing through the mouth
- Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that are too far forward or back
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Upper and lower teeth that don't meet, or meet in an abnormal way
- An unbalanced facial appearance
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth
Benefits of Early Treatment
Treatment for common orthodontic problems typically begins around ages 9 to 14, when all the baby teeth are gone and many of the permanent ones are in place.
However, there are benefits for treating certain conditions if they are caught even earlier, especially when it comes to treatment time and complications.
- Severe crossbite is a condition where many or all of the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth. A device called a palatal expander can be used to gradually and painlessly widen the upper jaw. This treatment is most effective when the jaw hasn’t fully developed at a younger age. Otherwise, a more complicated treatment, including oral surgery, may be required to correct the issue.
- Severe crowding occurs when the jaws are too small to accommodate all of the permanent teeth. Palatal or tooth extraction may be required to help the adult teeth erupt (emerge from below the gums) properly.
- Protruding teeth and severe underbites can be corrected by braces and, if required, other appliances such as headgear. Undergoing treatment while the child’s development is in full swing can decrease the likelihood of surgery.
Learn More at Your Free Consultation
If your child has a dental issue, please contact us by setting up a free consultation at our Irving office. It’s never too early for your child to see an orthodontist.
Early preparation means better preparation and treatment, and various orthodontic treatments are available to help correct bad habits before they result in too much damage.
We can talk about your child's orthodontic options and develop a treatment plan customized to your child's needs.