Orthodontics for Children and Adolescents
It is recommended that children be seen by an Orthodontist by the age of 7. Although most 7-year old's will not yet require intervention, Dr. Duncan will evaluate their growth trends and inform you of potential concerns and early-treatment options; this allows for early identification of face, jaw, or tooth growth imbalances or problems. Early monitoring ensures treatment is timed to be as simple as possible, while using an individual's growth potential to their advantage to receive the intended smile outcome.
The following approaches are considered in caring for and guiding the smiles and facial development of our young patients:
Balance Muscle Function and Control Habits
Oral habits, such as thumb sucking, contribute to changes in face and jaw shape; problems with speech are at times related to mouth shape and tooth position. In many of these situations, the associated treatment includes myofunctional or traditional orthodontic appliances; encouragement; therapy; and more depending on the needs of your child.
Interceptive Treatment addresses very specific problems before a patient is ready for more comprehensive care, such as preventing spaces from being lost after early loss of a baby tooth or positioning an adult tooth which is growing at an incorrect angle, allowing healthy growth of other teeth. Recommendations and appliances will be prepared to intercept and alleviate both developing and current problems. For example, straight-forward treatment of the upper jaw can correct a cross-bite; eliminate a jaw shift; improve symmetry; create more room for adult teeth to erupt; and improve airway problems in a young child -- something which would require more extensive efforts later in life.
Growth Modification Orthodontics (Phase 1)
Growth Modification Orthodontics guides the child's active growth in order to achieve results that are often not possible at later ages. This allows us to correct or improve growth patterns, jaw size, and bite patterns, in ways that are less intrusive than might otherwise be required. Phase 1 often helps to avoid jaw surgery which is in rare situations required if treatment is delayed to maturity. When done in conjunction with a growth spurt, we take otherwise challenging orthodontic problems, and turn them into quicker more comfortable treatment.
Comprehensive Treatment (Phase 2)
Phase 2 is undertaken when all of the adult teeth have erupted and growth is slowing. This is what most people think of when considering Orthodontics, the use of Braces or Invisalign clear aligners to move teeth, usually to achieve goals around appearance and bite. This second phase is beneficial when the child is more mature, working towards achieve the desired smile.
Growth Monitoring and Family Courtesy Program
All of our young patients are enrolled in our Growth Monitoring and Family Courtesy Program which provides on-going monitoring of growth and development at Doctor-prescribed intervals, at no-charge. Aside from your first child's consultation, all future exams, including all siblings' exams are performed at no-charge. This on-going monitoring is designed to give you peace of mind and support.
Ten Signs that Preventative Orthodontics may be Beneficial for Your Child
- Early or delayed loss of baby teeth
- Crowding or mal-positioned teeth
- Jaw pain, sounds or the tendency to move the jaw to the side to bite
- Speech difficulties or problems with some sounds
- Facial asymmetry
- Facial proportion imbalances
- Chewing and/or biting difficulties
- Tendency to breathe primarily through the mouth
- Thumb/finger or other orally-related habits
- Social problems or smile consciousness related to dental aesthetics
Your child's smile is worth a visit to a specialist!
Simply Orthodontics is an orthodontic specialty practice - Orthodontic treatment, and all that it encompasses, is all that we do. We offer a full range of orthodontic treatment and braces options, which can be tailored for each patient’s unique needs. Being specialists, we are not limited to only offering certain treatment options, such as Invisalign®. Instead we will provide you with a comprehensive view of your options and offer our expert opinion to help guide you to the most appropriate options for you.