Orthodontics for Children
Your child’s first permanent teeth will erupt at age 6, these are referred to as the 6 year molars and you likely noticed a period of teething during the eruption of these teeth because these molars do not replace baby teeth, but come into the mouth through the gums behind the baby teeth. Visits to the orthodontist should begin at age 7 which is when the permanent incisors (front teeth) erupt. You might say, “isn’t 7 years old too young for braces?” – and you would be right! For the majority of children, the orthodontist will not recommend any treatment but just provide you with an assessment of growth and development. By seeing kids regularly as their dental and skeletal development is taking place, our doctors can ensure that if there is a problem developing, the problem is found and addressed as it develops.
Our Indianapolis Office
At the Castleton Orthodontics office in Northeast Indianapolis, we use a conservative approach in the orthodontic treatment of children. With so much growth still taking place, our job is to simply keep their growth on the right course. We simply want to ensure your child does not develop any dental issues which can effect their permanent set of teeth. Less is more when it comes to our kids! In addition to catching any problems during dental development, our doctors and staff have found that having regular examinations with kids helps us to develop a relationship and gain trust so when it comes time for treatment, we have happy patients who are excited to cooperate. It is no easy task asking a child to wear rubber elastics for 22 hours of the day, but we are so proud of our kids that do a great job!
As we complete our regular examinations, we may notice a few things that would tell us an early or “interceptive” treatment is recommended. If your child is developing a narrow upper jaw or recessive lower jaw, the doctor may recommend an expander or Herbst appliance to correct this jaw discrepancy. Both these appliances have a target age for use. Expanders are best used at 9-10 years of age because this is when the upper jaw is most malleable. The Herbst appliance is best used during the adolescent growth spurt which can occur at different times for different children. But is usually between ages 11-13. With the diagnostic aid of orthodontic radiographs and a thorough clinical exam, we can find the right time in your child’s development to utilize these appliances and get the best effect.
Crowding or crowded teeth is another common problem in kids. The orthodontist will determine whether a spacer is a good choice for your child in order to make room for their teeth and alleviate crowding. Crossbite of the incisors (front teeth) is another problem that can occur with dental development that can be discovered during an exam at age 7. When children have an anterior crossbite, braces on the front teeth are used to return the teeth to their proper positions.
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