Orthodontic Treatment For Kids

Like Most Parents

At Pezoldt Orthodontics, we recommend that all children be evaluated at age 7, but this does not mean your child will need braces in second grade or even in the future. And you don’t need a referral by a dentist to take advantage of this free evaluation.

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An early evaluation provides huge benefits to both you and your child. At your child’s initial evaluation, we will take photos and a panoramic x-ray. With this information, we will be able to see if your child has missing teeth, teeth not erupting properly, too little or too much space for the permanent teeth, or problems with the way the teeth fit together. For the vast majority of children, no treatment is indicated at this age and Dr. Pezoldt will let you know if it is likely that treatment will be needed in the future. Then your child will be seen briefly every six months to monitor the eruption and development of his/her teeth. With this process, which is offered at no charge to you, we can watch for the ideal time for your child to begin treatment so that he/she can have the best, most efficient results.

What if your child needs Orthodontic Treatment For Kids?

Two important problems of jaw development can only be corrected before age 10. The most significant is an underbite — the lower teeth hit in front of the upper teeth. This problem is best addressed while the upper jaw is still growing, which is only until age 10. Another similar problem is a narrow upper jaw where the back top teeth are inside of the bottom teeth (crossbite). Like the underbite, a crossbite is easiest to correct while the upper jaw is still growing.

We also treat some cosmetic problems at age 8 or 9. Perhaps your child’s front teeth have come in all over the place and he/she is self-conscious. Or maybe the front teeth stick out too much. These are problems that we can correct later, but often an earlier short course of treatment can give your child the self-confidence to smile proudly right now.

Early treatment does not replace the comprehensive treatment of all the permanent teeth. The goal of early treatment is always only to correct important problems that cannot be corrected later or to make future treatment less complex.

Signs Your Child Might Need Orthodontic Treatment

Unless you regularly visit a dentist who specializes in early orthodontics, you might not know that they’re an option for your child, or if your child would benefit from them. Here are some of the signs your child might need early orthodontics.


Their Teeth Protrude Too Far

One of the signs your child could benefit from Orthodontic Treatment For Kids is when their teeth protrude too far from their mouth. This commonly happens as a result of thumb sucking or using a sippy cup for too long. It can also indicate that the lower jaw isn’t growing as fast as the upper jaw. The reason protruding teeth are such a problem in children is that if they fall and crack or break a tooth, it can result in the need for extensive dental care for the rest of their life. It can also result in extreme wear in the back teeth as well as jaw problems.


Crowded Teeth or Not Enough Room to Accommodate All Teeth

If your child loses a baby tooth and their adult tooth is nowhere to be seen, this is a sign that your child’s jaw is too small and narrow to accommodate the adult tooth. Orthodontic Treatment For Kids can help expand the jaw to make room for all the teeth.


They Breathe Through Their Mouth, Snore, or Grind Their Teeth

Mouth breathing, snoring and teeth grinding are all associated with narrow arches, a bad bite, and crowding. Without treatment, your child might suffer from obstructive sleep apnea which can increase other serious health risks. Snoring and mouth breathing is not normal in children. We strongly recommend visiting an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist). In some cases, children could benefit from either having their tonsils removed or Orthodontic Treatment For Kids.


They Suck Their Thumb

Thumb sucking might look like a cute habit, but it can result in lots of problems if the habit persists too long. It can cause the teeth to push out too far and the jaws to grow in the wrong direction. It can also result in eating difficulties and speech problems down the line.


They Have an Underbite

When your child’s bottom teeth stick out further than their upper teeth, this means they have an underbite. Underbites will require extensive orthodontic work and potentially jaw surgery to fix as your child enters their teenage years.


They Have Speech Problems

There are many different causes of speech impediments but one of them is oral health problems. If your child has a speech impediment, it wouldn’t hurt to have them evaluated for Orthodontic Treatment For Kids.


New patients get a free smile assessment that includes digital x-rays and a complete smile analysis ($249 value) with treatment when you sign up for your initial consultation online.

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