Children & Orthodontics

Malocclusions, or misalignments of the teeth, can be recognized as early as 2 to 3 years of age. Often, early steps can be taken to reduce the need for major orthodontic treatment at a later age. We can help identify these issues in your child.

Why Should I Consider Orthodontics for My Child?

While orthodontics are often considered cosmetic, proper alignment of teeth & jaws can affect children in more functional ways. For example, a properly aligned bite can improve their speech as it’s being developed & may allow children to eat enough for healthy growth when grinding from a misaligned bite may have caused aversion to eating.

When Can Children Get Braces?

There are three stages in which treatment can occur:

Stage I — Early Treatment: This period of treatment encompasses ages 2 to 6. At this young age, we are concerned with underdeveloped dental arches, the premature loss of primary teeth & harmful habits like thumb-sucking. Treatment initiated in this stage of development is often very successful & many times (though not always) eliminates the need for future orthodontic or orthopedic treatment.

Stage II — Mixed Dentition: This period covers the ages of 6 to 12, when the permanent front teeth (incisors) & 6-year molars come in. Treatment deals with jaw misalignment & dental realignment problems. This is an excellent stage to start treatment, when indicated, as your child’s hard & soft tissues are usually very responsive to orthodontic or orthopedic forces.

Stage III — Adolescent Dentition: This stage deals with the permanent teeth & the development of the final bite relationship.

While each stage provides an opportunity for orthodontic attention, the most common stage in which children get braces is stage II, when at least some of their permanent teeth are in but they are still moving into place. We take advantage of that movement & simply help guide everything into place. Of course, orthodontic treatment may be more complicated than that, especially if significant adjustments need to be made to your child’s bite.

How Do I Know if My Child Needs Orthodontics?

Dentists generally agree that early detection is beneficial for efficient orthodontic treatment.

Most dentists recommend that children get checked by an orthodontist by age 7, but you might notice that by that age, stage I has already come & gone. You might bring them in earlier if you notice any of the following:

  • Their teeth are crowded or too far apart
  • Their upper & lower teeth don’t line up
  • There is a clicking or popping sound when they bite
  • Their jaw sticks out too far or not enough.
  • They continued to suck their thumb past the age of 4.
  • They have poor dental health that has or might soon cause premature tooth loss.

You may even decide to bring them in early if you or their other parent needed braces.

Though the best time to start orthodontic treatment varies by situation, we’re happy to work with your child at each of the above developmental stages. Call today to schedule an orthodontic consultation for your child.

Call us today with any questions or to book your appointment!


 630-980-3880


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