It’s recommended that children visit an orthodontist around the age of 7 to ensure the permanent adult teeth are developing properly.
Orthodontics For Children
Your child’s oral health, dental development, and smile can benefit from early orthodontic treatment. The current recommendation by the American Association of Orthodontists is for your child to see an orthodontist at age 7 to determine if treatment is in your child’s future. Sometimes, orthodontic treatment may be recommended for your child, but we may advise they wait a few years. When treating our youngest patients at Village Orthodontics, our goal is to protect their oral health and reduce or avoid the need for extensive oral treatment later on in life. Since children’s jaws and dental structures are still developing, it can be easier to correct. Dr. Jeff will create a comprehensive treatment plan best suited for your child’s oral development and health.
More information about orthodontic treatment for your child can be found by checking out our Braces FAQ.
When you meet with Dr. Jeff for an orthodontic treatment consultation, you can expect to be treated like family. Dr. Jeff and his friendly staff will make every effort to ensure you feel safe and informed every step of the way. Dr. Jeff will formulate a treatment plan, with a timeline for treatment, for your child. Our early orthodontic treatment typically includes our Max 2000 keyless expander and traditional braces with colors.
At the consultation appointment, Dr. Jeff will evaluate your child and let you know his recommendations for treatment. Signs that your child may be ready for early orthodontic treatment include
Loss of baby teeth very early or very late (in general, the first baby tooth is lost around 5 years of age, and all permanent teeth erupt into the mouth by age 13)
Issues with chewing and/or biting
Breathing through the mouth
Thumb-sucking after age 5
Dental crowding at an early age
If you have questions about your child’s dental development, please contact any of our 3 practices for a consultation with Dr. Jeff.
A general approach to early orthodontic treatment for children is as follows:
PHASE ONE TREATMENT
Your child’s jaw is still growing at this age, and many orthodontic problems are easier to correct at this time. Phase one treatment can begin in children as young as 7 but usually begins around age 8 or 9. Progressive problems such as severe overbites, underbites, crossbites, and impactions can be corrected with Phase One treatment.
Between phases, there is a 1- to 2-year growth and development period. This period is a time when no further treatment is conducted, but instead your child’s dental development is monitored as their jaw develops and permanent teeth come in. A retainer may be recommended during the resting period.
PHASE TWO TREATMENT
Phase two of treatment usually involves braces on both the upper and lower teeth, although your child’s individual treatment plan may be different. Phase two tends to begin once all the permanent teeth have come into the mouth. The goal of phase two is to align the teeth and further correct any orthodontic issues, if any.
Our team at Village Orthodontics cares about your child’s health and well-being. Dr. Jeff has over 35 years of experience, and his team is dedicated to achieving the best oral health outcome possible. If you are ready for your child to receive an orthodontic evaluation by Dr. Jeff, please contact any of our 3 practice locations to schedule a consultation appointment. We look forward to meeting you.
About Palatal Expansion
As your child grows, primary (baby) teeth fall out and permanent teeth come in. Sometimes, there is not enough room in the jaw to accommodate these newer teeth, which tend to be much bigger than baby teeth. The palate is another name for the roof of the mouth and is made of bone and cartilage. Two parts of the palate come together in the middle (called the midline suture) and fuse during the mid-teen years; a palatal expander is most successful in pediatric patients. A palatal expander can add width to the child’s palate and potentially avoid unnecessary complications and extractions.
When the palate is too narrow, oral health problems such as bite issues, tooth alignment, and breathing issues can occur. A palatal expander can treat many orthodontic issues, such as crossbite, tooth crowding, impaction, and breathing issues.
When you come to Village Orthodontics, Dr. Jeff will assess your child’s orthodontic needs with a comprehensive exam. A palatal expander may be recommended as a part of your child’s orthodontic treatment plan.
WHAT IS A PALATAL EXPANDER?
The purpose of a palatal expander is to widen the palate. The custom-made appliance is attached to the upper molars and adjusted once or twice a day for gentle but steady pressure. A typical palatal expander works by using a special key that fits into a small screw device located in the middle of the appliance. Village Orthodontics uses the Max 2000 appliance, which is a keyless expander that comes with many palatal color choices. The appliance will still need to be adjusted; your orthodontist will give you specific instructions. Over time, the palate is widened through consistent stimulated bone growth. Some slight discomfort may be experienced while turning the device but should be fairly comfortable to wear most of the time. For most patients, the palate can be widened within 2 to 3 weeks, but the appliance will need to remain in place for several months to ensure the stability of the expanded palate.
If your child has been recommended for palatal expansion or is having any issues relating to a narrow palate, we encourage you to call Village Orthodontics. Dr. Jeff will formulate a treatment plan to suit your child’s unique orthodontic needs. We look forward to meeting you.