Parents have many questions about children’s braces and especially the appropriate age to begin orthodontic treatment. Most orthodontic patients begin treatment around the age of 11 or 12. However, in some cases, two-phase treatment – sometimes referred to as early orthodontics – can help correct issues before they progress. Therefore, while not every young patient will require early orthodontics, it is incredibly advantageous for those who can benefit from it. Here, we will explore a variety of procedures available in children’s orthodontics, and discuss the appropriate age to begin treatment.
Common Types of Children’s Braces
Some of the most common procedures and appliances used in the first phase of orthodontic treatment include:
Space maintainers. To preserve or “hold” space for a tooth that has not erupted yet, a space maintainer can be placed.
Partial braces. Sometimes, there is an area that is more problematic. In these cases, partial braces can be used to gradually move the teeth into more desirable locations.
Anterior braces. If your child has protruding front teeth or other conditions affecting the front portion of the jaw, anterior braces may be useful.
Removable appliances . While braces are fixed onto the teeth, there are other appliances that can be removed, such as retainers or headgear. Depending on your child’s specific situation, Dr. Roy may recommend a removable appliance.
Braces and more
Palatal expanders. If the palate and upper jaw are too narrow, a palatal expander may be used to gently widen the roof of the mouth and make room for permanent teeth.
Cross bite and width correction. A cross bite is present when the upper teeth meet inside or outside your lower teeth when you bite down naturally. At time, the teeth may fit together, but both arches are too narrow for normal function. These problems can cause abnormal growth, excessive wear and tear on the tooth surfaces, gum recession, and jaw joint damage.
For more information about children’s braces call our office at (757) 231-7842 and someone will be glad to assist you.