Children and Teen Orthodontics
Children and Teen Orthodontics Treatments
There is no prescribed age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, however, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends children have an orthodontic assessment around age seven.
At age 7, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for Dr. Mahara at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems before they become bigger health concerns later on.
With early orthodontic assessment and treatment our Downtown Nanaimo Dentists aim to:
- Monitor the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in properly
- Expand the width of the upper and lower arches if necessary
- Take measures to reduce crowding of teeth
- Enable correction of minor speech problems
For parents, it’s not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment.
Signs of need for an orthodontic assessment for your child:
- Crowded front teeth around age 7 or 8
- Difficulty chewing or biting food
- Crowded or misplaced teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that appear too small relative to the rest of the face
Please contact Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early assessment and treatment is essential to your child’s healthy smile.
Functional Appliances for Children
Most children with crowded teeth and bad bites have narrow jaws and underdeveloped lower jaws, which could be corrected with functional appliances. Functional appliances help correct the bone problems, while the tooth problems are corrected with the orthodontic braces.
The ideal age for the use of functional appliances is between ages seven and eleven, when the cooperation level is the highest. However, functional appliances can be utilized as early as age 4, if the upper jaw is too narrow and is having a negative effect on the child’s breathing and speech. Arch Development (functional appliances) can also be used in adults to develop the arch to a more normal shape and size before applying the braces.
The use of functional appliances can reduce the time the child must wear fixed braces and also can reduce the need for the extraction of permanent teeth. Functional appliances develop the dental arches so that all the permanent teeth can erupt, which ensures an outstanding profile, broad smile and healthy jaw joints.
Teen Ortho Testimonial
The following testimonial came from a Nanaimo teen who began orthodontic and bite correction treatment with Dr. Mahara at age 13. This teen’s adult teeth came in crooked and tilted, which not only created a smile problem, but more seriously it also generated an uneven bite that led to the early symptoms for TMD, a jaw disorder characterized by soreness in the jaw, popping and locking jaw and headaches related to jaw pain.
“Two years ago, like many people, I was stuck with crooked teeth. My teeth were coming out in bad angles and, I even had pain in my jaw from the mess of it all. Smiling was always a hesitation, I couldn’t smile for more than a quick second for fear that people would see my messed up teeth.
When I first started my braces I was bit nervous. I didn’t know how some simple wires could turn my teeth the right way around. Well it didn’t happen over night, but as time went on I could start to see the changes. I didn’t mind having braces after seeing the good it did. I kept my teeth clean and got new wires regularly.
After two years passed, I had a set of amazing straight and tight-knit teeth! The day I got my braces off, I couldn’t stop smiling! I had the best smile and loved showing it off. I smile whenever I want now, having my great smile really helped in my confidence.
Although braces weren’t my most favorite thing, I’ll always appreciate having them. Making my smile from bad to amazing took time but it was all worth it. A great smile can go a long way.” S.M., Nanaimo 2012.
Before & After Photos – Teen / Child Orthodontic Treatment
Also, we encourage you to read more about Invisalign treatment, as this may be an option for teen orthodontic treatment as well.
Please contact us to book your teen orthodontic assessment today.