Orthodontics for Children
Many parents ask, "When is the best time to begin orthodontic treatment?" Dr. Crump's answer is, "It depends on your child's individual problem."
For the majority of young patients, Dr. Crump recommends it is best to delay treatment until most of their permanent teeth have erupted. (around the ages of 11 or 12)
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children be seen by an orthodontist by age 7 or 8 for a careful screening. Dr. Crump will advise you if: (a) any orthodontic treatment will be needed in the future or; (b) if any early (Phase I) treatment is needed.
Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:
- Use maximum advantage of jaw growth to improve the bite relationship of the upper and lower jaws,allowing more normal growth and development in the future.
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches.
- Create more space for crowded teeth.
- Minimize the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life.
- Correct harmful habits like thumb-sucking.
- Minimize the occurrence of impacted (unerupted) permanent teeth.
- Moving protruding front teeth back so they will be less susceptible to injury.
- Improving facial appearance and self-esteem.
Early treatment can simplify treatment after all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Most of the children that need early treatment require a two-phase treatment plan.
For parents, it's not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment.
Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- If your child has a hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age 7 or 8
Please contact our office to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.