At What Age Can My Child Have an Orthodontic Assessment?
An orthodontic assessment can take place at age seven or even sooner because by this stage an orthodontist can easily assess if your child’s teeth and jaws will develop fully, even those teeth that have yet to erupt.
At this age, the orthodontist can see if there will be any problems such as bite issues, tooth misalignment or incorrect spacing such as overcrowding, and where there isn’t enough room for the adult teeth to come through correctly. Often, oral habits like thumb or finger sucking, mouth breathing or tongue thrusting can affect the development of the jaws, reducing the room available for adult teeth to erupt.
At What Age Will My Child Need Treatment?
During your child’s assessment, the orthodontist can determine if treatment is necessary and when is the best age to start. Sometimes early orthodontic treatment can help correct problems caused by oral habits. Early orthodontic treatment may be carefully timed to take advantage of growth spurts, guiding the growth of your child’s jaws and creating more room for the adult teeth to erupt properly. It can help to create a wider arch, providing a child with a broader and nicer smile and facial profile.
Often, orthodontic treatment will take place in two stages with the second phase taking place when your child is in their early teens. If your child does need early orthodontic treatment, it can help reduce the time needed for treatment during their teens and the need for tooth extractions. The second phase may be more cosmetically oriented, using braces to help perfect the appearance of your child’s smile as early orthodontic treatment may have already dealt with problems affecting their bite.
What Type of Orthodontic Treatment Is Available?
Icon Dental uses Myofunctional therapy to help children develop the correct orofacial muscle balance, with special appliances and facial exercises. We can provide appliances designed to gradually widen a child’s upper dental arch, creating enough room for the adult teeth and helping to avoid potential problems with tooth alignment and bite.
We can also fit conventional braces for older children and which are highly effective at moving teeth into the proper positions. Sometimes older teens may be suitable for clear aligners that move teeth more discreetly than conventional metal braces.