Treatment Options for Kids
Why orthodontics on kids? It seems like kids are getting orthodontic treatment earlier than when I was a kid?
The answer is that most kids do not benefit from early orthodontic treatment.
Treatment on kids is considered early orthodontic treatment or “interceptive treatment”.
This area of orthodontics is performed when the patient is in the “mixed dentition” or has a mixture of baby teeth and adult teeth.
In most kids, even if an orthodontic issue is observed, it is okay to wait until the patient has moved from the mixed dentition to the adult dentition to begin orthodontic treatment.
In a small percentage of patients, interceptive treatment can be beneficial.
Times that interceptive treatment is beneficial include:
- improve function to prevent abnormal growth and development
- promote proper future adult tooth eruption
- improve esthetics to promote self-confidence
- move teeth to positions that make them less susceptible to injury
Interceptive treatment typically lasts between 6-12 months depending on the treatment and only focuses on moving those teeth that are the issue.
After treatment is complete the patient is placed in an observation program where we continue to monitor growth and development.
When the child reaches the full adult dentition an assessment is made to determine if any additional orthodontic treatment is necessary.
If additional treatment is recommended it should be easier, shorter, and more predictable having undergone interceptive treatment.
What types of treatments are beneficial for kids?
When the maxillary (upper) arch is narrow relative to the mandibular (lower) arch there may be dental crowding or bite problems. Dental crowding can lead to a lack of space for future tooth eruption creating more complicated orthodontics in the future. Bite problems can lead to abnormal growth patterns that are irreversible.
Limited Braces or Clear Aligners
Braces on certain teeth or clear aligners are used to accomplish our interceptive treatment goals. Sometimes braces or clear aligners are used in conjunction with an expander to gain the best treatment result.
ALIGNER SIMULATION BEFORE:
ALIGNER SIMULATION AFTER: