Orthodontic Treatment for Children

It is important for young children to undergo orthodontic screening between the age of 7-9 years. This screening helps to identify developing bite or jaw problems; by having the assessment completed early, it may be treated early and does not allow the condition to worsen or create more complex treatment in the future.

If my child starts orthodontic treatment now, will they still needs braces later?

  • Aim of early treatment is to address any underlying jaw problems. Having treatment completed earlier makes further orthodontic treatment with braces simpler.
  • Braces do not correct the underlying jaw structure. By correcting the jaw structure, it allows us to position the teeth into their correct positions.
  • In late teens and adults correcting the same jaw structure when bones have hardened could mean jaw surgery may be required at additional costs, time and  complexity of treatment. 
  • In other words, early orthodontic treatment does not prevent braces, but it allows your child to attain ideal smile outcomes. Treatment may be wearing a plate or expander, which all help to prevent the crowding from worsening as more adult teeth develop.

7 conditions it aims to correct:

  • Small lower jaws or chins:

    e.g., child finding it hard to close their lips together, or lower lips is trapped behind upper front teeth. Our patients have reported feeling insecure, or being teased at school. It may also increase risk of injury from contact sports and games.

  • Large lower jaws or small upper jaw or ‘Underbite’:

    Lower front teeth are biting in front of upper teeth. Treating this early, reduces the need for extensive treatment like jaw surgery. Treatment before the age of 10 proves to have the best success.

  • Narrow upper jaw:

    One of the most obvious signs are upper crowded front teeth. You may observe your frequently has a blocked nose, and as a result breathes through his/her mouth. Our patients parents have reported improvements in breathing through nose after upper expander treatment.

  • Early loss of baby teeth:

    May be caused by trauma or tooth decay. The adjacent teeth may start leaning into the space, and therefore, the adult tooth does not have enough room to erupt.

  • Biting top teeth directly onto the bottom teeth, ‘Edge to Edge’:

    May lead to permanent teeth wear. If this is left until all the adult teeth have erupted, it can lead to uneven wear of front teeth edges and may mean additional cosmetic dental treatment.

  • Prolonged Thumb Sucking:

    If still present after the age of 4 years old, can lead to jaw and teeth problems developing. May also cause an overbite forming between the front teeth.

  • Other conditions ie: extra teeth, impacted teeth:

    May be evident e.g., the tooth on the right side has erupted. At other times, the presence of this can only be picked up through an X-ray.

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