Orthodontics for Children

Most of the time, it is not recommended to do orthodontic procedures on children.  There are a few exceptions to this general rule.  If it is determined that the jaws or teeth are not developing or lining up properly, then orthodontic treatment may be beneficial, or maybe even necessary to allow the jaw, face,  and teeth to develop properly.  Most orthodontic treatment in children is to help with orthopedic (bone) development, or to deal with problems with the anterior teeth.

I recently had a 9 year old girl come in because her two front teeth had not erupted yet.  As we evaluated her situation, it was determined that her teeth were in a posterior crossbite on both sides of her jaw and had caused crowding that was preventing her front teeth from coming in due to  lack of enough space for them to come in.  A cross bite is where the upper teeth are lined up inside or behind the bottom teeth.  This not only affects the way the teeth line up, but can also cause problems with a child’s facial growth.  The treatment is fairly simple and easy to do and corrects both problems.

One of the most common problems that I have treated children with orthodontics is an anterior crossbite.  This is where the upper front teeth have come in behind the lower front teeth.  This can be treated with a retainer-like appliance that will help move the upper front teeth into their proper position in front of the lower front teeth and allows for proper facial growth and a proper bite.

Another problem I have used orthodontics to treat children with is if a front tooth is not coming in properly.  This is the only time that I actually use braces to treat the problem.  In this instance, the braces allow me it help the tooth come in properly and then continue to  monitor its development.


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