If your child’s teeth are crowded or have other alignment problems, you don’t have to wait until they’re 12 or 13 to fix their bite. Ki Youn Kil, DDS, and Nathalie Phaeton, DDS, at Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics offers orthodontics for kids at the Falls Church, Virginia, office. Children as young as five years old can have limited braces or other treatments to improve their dental alignment and help them develop normally. Call Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics today for an orthodontics for kids evaluation, or reach out with the online form.
Orthodontics for kids are treatments that help kids’ teeth grow in properly. Up to 75% of children need orthodontics by the time they’re 12 years old. By that age, 90% of their facial development is already complete.
Traditional orthodontics — starting between 12-14 years of age — force teeth into new positions after the natural growth phase. In contrast, orthodontics for kids — also known as interceptive orthodontics —works with the developing bones to urge teeth into proper alignment.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids get an orthodontic evaluation by the time they’re seven years old when their jaws are still growing. Children may develop alignment problems at even 2-3 years of age. If your Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics dentist notices a problem during the evaluation, they estimate at what age it requires fixing and how long it will take.
Few kids need orthodontics at 5-7 years old. Among young children who do need orthodontics, not all require traditional braces.
Orthodontists break children into two treatment age groups, based on their growth stage. Each group has different needs:
In phase I, kids’ faces are still developing. Your orthodontist evaluates the position and symmetry of the jaw and the spacing of teeth. They also observe the child’s breathing and ask about habits that could affect jaw growth, such as:
Your orthodontist might recommend a palatal expander, which creates more room for teeth as they grow in. They might also use spacers to take the place of baby teeth that were lost too soon so that permanent teeth grow correctly. Some children might need limited braces to correct their alignment.
Your orthodontist evaluates how well your child’s jaw and teeth fit and work together. At this stage, children may receive traditional braces or clear aligner trays to correct issues such as:
Early treatment can permanently correct under- or over-developed jaws, which account for 55% of children’s alignment problems. Children who receive orthodontics early may need traditional braces later, but their treatment is significantly simpler and faster.
To set up an orthodontics for kids consultation, call Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics today or use the online form.