Early treatment for kids
Sometimes, it is necessary to start orthodontics at an early age to help alleviate issues as your child grows. Other times, it would be necessary to wait until your child is older before intervention begins.
It is recommended for a child to have an Orthodontic assessment around the age 7 years old. At FirstBite, we will assess your child every 6 months during their Dental Maintenance visits.
When kids are young, their jaws are easier to manipulate. There are many different treatments available for a variety of Orthodontic problems. These include teeth that protrude too much, Cross-bites, the need to preserve natural space when baby teeth get lost too early, as well as treatment for many habits.
Most kids will then move on into the second phase of Orthodontics during their teenage years once all adult teeth have come through.
Phase 1 Orthodontics
This stage usually begins when the child is between 7 and 12 years of age, their growth stage. The main purpose of this stage is to develop the jaw bones to better accommodate the teeth. In most cases this is accomplished with the use of appliances.
Phase 1 treatments can help correct:
- Habits such as tongue thrusting and thumb sucking
- Airway problems and mouth breathing
- Deep overbites, Narrow arches, and Cross-bites
- Crowded teeth due to narrow arches
- Underdeveloped jaws
This Orthodontic stage can take between 9 and 18 months, and will make the 2nd Phase of Treatment much easier. In other words, your child will need to wear fixed braces on their adult teeth for less time.
Once all adult teeth have erupted, and the child is in their teenage growth stage, this will be reassessed.
Following the completion of phase 1, a holding period will be necessary to wait for all remaining baby teeth to fall out and the new adult teeth to erupt.
Phase 1 Orthodontic Cases
Case A – severe crowding of teeth and Narrow upper jaw
This 9 year old girl had severe crowding with a narrow upper jaw. An expansion appliance was used to expand the jaw, and this allowed the adult teeth to erupt into a better position. Braces on the upper teeth were placed to get the upper front teeth into a better position during this process.
After expansion and partial braces, you can see the adult teeth have erupted into a much nicer position. Full braces will still be needed to consolidate the bite and make things perfect.
Case B – anterior crossbite and partial braces
This 8 year old boy had an anterior crossbite, where the adult teeth on the upper jaw erupted behind the bottom teeth. This would cause a lot more orthodontic problems for him as he grew up, and would affect the surrounding teeth. Partial braces were placed on the front teeth for 4 months, and the crossbite fixed. Once he is in his teenage years, we will reassess for full braces if he needs it.
Case C – Anterior Crossbite and Braces
This 8 year old girl also had an anterior crossbite, and braces on the top and bottom teeth were needed for a period of 4–6 months to correct the position of her teeth. Once she is in her teenage years, we will review how all her teeth have erupted and reassess for full braces if needed.
Case D- Protruding Front Teeth
When front teeth protrude at an early age, they are more susceptible to trauma and damage. Early intervention to correct this is ideal to prevent this, and also allow other teeth to erupt into a more desirable position.
Case E- Expanding the Narrow Upper Jaw
By expanding the upper jaw with a Hyrax appliance, we were able to allow the adult teeth to erupt naturally into the desired positions.