When children undergo orthodontic treatment, we take a phased approach. The first phase helps limit the severity of misalignment and guide a smile’s growth. In today’s blog, your Shirley, NY, orthodontist and pediatric dentist talks about what to expect from the first phase of your child’s orthodontic treatment.
When Misalignment Begins
A number of different factors could be behind your child’s misalignment. For example, thumbing sucking or tongue thrusting in early childhood could be a cause, as could using a bottle beyond what a pediatrician recommends. For others, premature loss of baby teeth could be a cause, as this alters how the permanent teeth erupt. Injury to the face or jaw, or issues with the growth and development of these areas could also alter the position of the teeth in a negative way. No matter the cause, misalignment could be linked to increased risks of cavities, gingivitis, gum disease, and in adulthood, TMJ disorder, bruxism (teeth grinding), and even chronic snoring and sleep apnea.
Starting treatment young helps our team guide the development of the smile to reduce the severity of misalignment, so they require less time in braces or aligners in their teen years. We can begin treatment as young as age seven. At this age, there is a mix of baby and permanent teeth, so we can better assess the risks to the smile and whether treatment is necessary. We will carefully examine the smile with digital imaging technology to obtain clear and accurate diagnosis. The first phase could include retainers to help shift the teeth and prepare the smile for braces. We also have space maintainers for prematurely lost teeth, which helps ensure the permanent teeth erupt and move into place properly.
Phase II begins in their later childhood years or the early teens. At this stage, we could recommend braces or possibly Invisalign® aligners to complete the process. Even if your child does require braces, we may be able to prescribe ceramic brackets to make them less visible. The final stage completes the process of repositioning the teeth and correcting misalignment. If you have a kid with an uneven smile, then bring him or her in for a consultation. We would love to help your little ones on their journey to an even, healthy, and beautiful smile!
Your Shirley, NY, Orthodontist and Pediatric Dentist Corrects Little Smiles
Starting treatment in the early years could help guide the growth of your child’s smile. We also have care for teens and even adults as well, we can help your entire family! To learn more about how we help kids enjoy good oral with straighter smiles, then contact Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in Shirley, NY, by calling (631) 399-1600.