Pediatric Orthodontics

Not every child will need orthodontic treatment. Preventive Dental Care practiced from a young age can eliminate the need for orthodontic treatment altogether.

However, due to genetic predisposition, injuries or other factors beyond parents and dentists control, abnormal oral growth does occur sometimes. Orthodontic treatment performed early in a child's oral development is usually simpler, more comfortable and less expensive than treatments performed during puberty.

Orthodontic treatment does more than enhance the beauty of a child's smile. Kids braces and appliances help teeth develop straight and even, and properly aligned teeth are easier to keep clean and free from gingivitis, cavities and tooth decay. A straight smile is a healthy smile!

Benefits of Early Pediatric Orthodontic Treatment

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, treating children with orthodontic problems between the ages of 4 and 11 can prevent more severe orthodontic problems from developing during teenaged years. Treating children when they are between 4 and 11 years old is ideal because children's teeth and skeleton are still developing. When performed early, treatment for unevenly spaced teeth, ectopic eruptions, crossbites and other abnormal development is often more comfortable for the child. Early orthodontic treatment helps children who need it by giving them:

  • The self-confidence of having a straighter, more attractive smile.
  • Teeth which stay healthier because they're easier to clean.
  • Less need to worry about wearing braces and painful appliances during awkward teenaged years.
How Pediatric Orthodontic Appliances Could Help Your Child

Our doctors can provide custom orthodontic devices:

  • Custom space maintainers to prevent uneven spacing between baby teeth that are lost too early.
  • Custom "habit" appliances which help children stop thumb or finger sucking habits before developmental damage occurs.
  • Early interceptive orthodontics which re-align teeth made crooked by ectopic eruptions.
  • Early expansion devices which correct crossbites or overbites before they become permanent.
Wearing Orthodontic Appliances

Kids wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances can generally do everything they would do normally. Appliances won't hinder a child's ability to run, swim, jump, speak and eat, and most children become used to their orthodontic appliances within a day or two.

While specific care instructions for orthodontic appliances vary from patient to patient, here are a few general guidelines for children wearing braces or appliances:

  • Children should brush and floss teeth and appliances often and carefully. Removable appliances should be brushed separately each time teeth are brushed.
  • Regular check-ups at the dentist's office will ensure appliances are secure and teeth are developing properly.
  • If an appliance breaks or loosens, see the pediatric dentist as soon as possible.
  • Avoid sticky foods such as gum and caramels. Also avoid hard foods like peanuts and popcorn.

Our pediatric dentists provide parents of each patient with detailed instructions for how to manage their child's orthopedic appliance.