Kids orthodontic treatment
Sometimes your child may need to start orthodontic treatment early, to help fix up dental issues as they grow. At other times, we may suggest that we start providing orthodontic treatment for your child once all their baby teeth have fallen out (usually by about 12 years of age).
The caring and skilled dentists at our Essendon clinic will recommend our younger patients have an orthodontic assessment when they are about seven years old. Following on from this, your child will have ongoing orthodontic evaluations at their regular six-monthly maintenance visits.
Early orthodontic situations
When kids are young, their jaws are easier to manipulate. Kids orthodontic treatment at this stage develops the jawbones to better accommodate the teeth. In most cases, our FirstBite dentists undertake early orthodontic treatment by using appliances. Our friendly and caring dentists offer a range of treatments and appliances to suit a variety of early orthodontic presentations, which can include:
Teeth become misaligned as there is not enough space in the jaw.
Often referred to as “buck teeth” or a protrusion, an overjet is where the patient’s upper front teeth significantly protrude outwards from the rest of the teeth. Having front teeth protruding from the jaw means the teeth are more susceptible to damage and trauma.
Patients with an overbite have a significant downward protrusion – their row of upper teeth covers their bottom row of teeth by more than one-third.
Patients with an open bite won’t have proper alignment between their upper and bottom teeth when the jaw is closed – there is a large, visible gap between the upper and bottom teeth.
When patients have a cross-bite, their bottom teeth often grow behind their upper teeth, instead of in front of them. Sometimes patients present with a cross-bite where their upper teeth grow behind their bottom teeth. Cross-bites are reasonably common in children’s teeth and can affect a child’s bite and confidence if left untreated.
How long does early orthodontic treatment take?
Kids who have early orthodontic treatment can expect to use an appliance for between 9 and 18 months. If your child needs further orthodontic treatment in their teens after using early intervention appliances, they will need to wear fixed braces on their adult teeth for a shorter time. Our FirstBite dentists will reassess this need when your child is in their teenage growth stage, once all adult teeth have erupted.
Early orthodontic treatment and treatments
At FirstBite Dental, our early orthodontic patients can receive the following appliances or treatments:
Early 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 cross-bite 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 cross-bite and partial 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.