Did you know that we can treat uneven smiles for kids as young as age seven? At this age, we can use Phase One orthodontics to treat kids and help guide the growth of their smile. In today’s blog, your Shirley, NY, pediatric dentist and orthodontist talks about our approach to this first phase of treatment.
When Kids Need Orthodontic Care
If your children have had issues with baby teeth erupting and falling out in time, or complications with the arrival of the permanent teeth, this could cause an even smile. Dental misalignment isn’t just an esthetic issue, as uneven teeth could mean a greater risk of cavities, gum disease, and even issues like TMJ disorder and bruxism (teeth grinding). If misalignment occurred due to issues with the growth and development of the jaw and oral structures, this could also mean a greater risk of poor facial esthetics and even sleep apnea in their adult years.
First Phase Treatment Options
We can begin care for kids as young as age seven, once there is a mix of primary and permanent teeth. We use advanced digital x-rays and imaging to take a close look at the smile and understand the factors behind the misalignment. We then plan treatment, using specific options to not only shift the positions of the teeth, but guide the growth and development of the jaw to properly accommodate the permanent teeth. We could use a retainer, which could be fixed or removable, to begin correcting the position of the teeth and the jaw. If a primary tooth is lost too soon, this could complicate how permanent teeth arrive. To keep spaces open for these teeth, we could use space maintainers, which again could be fixed in place or removable.
What about the second phase? This starts in the teen year, once all permanent teeth have erupted and properly calcified. This completes the process and offers your kids a straight and even smile. For Phase Two, we could use braces (employing ceramic brackets to make them less visible), or Invisalign® aligners, which offer a clear approach to retreatment using a series of aligners made from a special plastic material.
If you have any questions about our approach to children’s orthodontics, or if you would like to schedule a visit for your child, then contact our team today to learn more. We’re ready to help them make big changes to your smile over summer break!
Make an Appointment With Your Shirley, NY, Orthodontist and Pediatric Dentist
We would like to help your children on their journey to an even and healthy smile. To learn more about treating uneven smiles and malocclusion in early childhood, then contact Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in Shirley, NY, by calling (631) 399-1600.