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Complete Orthodontics – Randolph, MA

Pediatric Orthodontics: Early Detection & Treatment Options

Although misalignment of the jaw and teeth can be treated later in life, some complex problems are more difficult to fix than others after age 18. On the other hand, for children who are still developing, orthodontic treatment can be far simpler and more successful, which is why we strongly encourage pediatric orthodontic screening. If your child needs to be checked for potential misalignment, contact our office and schedule an appointment!

Benefits of Pediatric Orthodontic Screenings

As with screenings for other conditions, an orthodontic screening is an examination for potential risks of misaligned teeth, bite, or jaw development. When a child is screened at a young age for orthodontic issues at Simply Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we can identify indications of future problems and address them before their oral cavity has fully grown. .

In other words, by taking action early, we can correct these issues as your child is still developing and guide their oral cavity to be healthy and properly aligned.

Young boy receiving dental exam

Early Warning Signs

Early or Late Loss of Baby teeth - Although the exact timing in losing their primary or baby teeth varies from child to child, if they start significantly early or late, it could point to an orthodontic issue with the permanent teeth underneath the gums.

Difficulty Chewing or Biting - Teeth are only good at breaking down or grinding food when the upper and lower teeth meet as they are supposed to. Therefore, if your child struggles to bite or chew, they may require early orthodontic care.

Mouth Breathing - Ideally, your child should be able to breathe comfortably with their mouth closed. If not, it could mean that their bite doesn’t match up properly or that their oral cavity isn’t developing in a healthy way.

Jaws Shifting or Clicking - Do you notice your child’s lower jaw shifting to one side or forward? Do you hear a clicking sound when they open or close their mouth? Without treatment, your child could develop a TMJ issue in the future.

Cheek Biting - Although cheek biting can be attributed to multiple issues, an orthodontic problem is certainly one of them.

Facial Imbalance - Sometimes, a child’s facial shape may show signs of imbalance and require early intervention to correct it through orthodontic treatment.

When Should I Take My Child to an Orthodontist?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, every child between the ages of 7 and 8 should be evaluated by an orthodontist for this screening. Even at this early age, certain issues can be apparent to our trained professionals, and we can start to address them as the child grows and develops. Later in life, drastic changes become significantly more challenging to make. As a result of pediatric orthodontic screenings, your child’s oral cavity can be more functional, healthy, and aesthetically pleasing.

Common Orthodontic Treatments

Braces - For children especially, braces are the most common form of orthodontic treatment because they are extremely effective. The brackets and wires exert gentle force over time to realign the teeth and bite, and they can be used as early as age 7 to start the correction process.

Aligners -For responsible teens, clear aligners may be an option over traditional braces. These trays are barely noticeable when worn and can be removed for convenient eating and oral hygiene.

Retainers - After braces or aligners, teeth are still in a fragile state and could regress. Retainers hold teeth in their properly aligned positions.

Archwires - If your child has a narrow arch or needs more room to accommodate all their teeth, archwires can create the necessary space for their smile.

Elastics - Elastics are used in conjunction with traditional braces for more complex movements.

Mouthguards - Whether your child needs to undergo orthodontic treatment early or not, mouthguards for sports and potentially risky activities are important to preserve their natural teeth and keep their smile on track.