If your kid has misaligned teeth that have affected their esthetic (beauty), smile, chewing, speaking and other dental-related issues, reading this page can provide plenty of information. This article provides what you need to know about orthodontic problems in children, diagnosis, appropriate age for orthodontics, outcomes of untreated malpositioned teeth, treatment and cost of orthodontics for children. Reading this page will be helpful for any responsible caring parents.
What is orthodontics treatment?
Before going into treatment stages, you need a clear understanding of the orthodontics definition.
Orthodontics is a special subject in dentistry that deals with diagnosis, prevention, management and dental and jaw discrepancies’ treatments.
In a common way, orthodontics is the act of straightening dislocated teeth back to their normal position.
An appropriate age to start child orthodontics
We explained all about the appropriate age for orthodontics in the article why should children visit an orthodontist before the age of 7?. Orthodontists believe that the best age is when children reach 7 years old. A bite younger or older depending on the correction treatment is considered, too. All in all, 7 years of age is the best as we explain some factors below.
Why should correction start from 7?
The prior goal is the perfect position of permanent teeth. Specialists’ main job is managing permanent teeth development. We start orthodontics when primary (baby) teeth fall out (as a result, permanent teeth begin to develop). By the age of 7 to 8 years, most of the baby teeth had fallen out, and permanent teeth develop. Therefore, it’s the best orthodontics treatment time.
Do all kids need orthodontic treatment?
No! Not every kid needs orthodontic treatment. If you as parents don’t have occlusal instability (teeth and jaw discrepancies), or you don’t see bad habits or behaviors (like thumb sucking or mouth breathing) in your child, it is more likely that they don’t need a visit to the orthodontists. In addition to this, if you or your pediatric dentists don’t see any teeth development problems, again no treatment is required.
What are the most important orthodontic problems in children?
The most important problems are usually seen in early ages:
- Imperfect position of one or some of the teeth
- Late or early development of the permanent teeth (causing malpositioning)
- Overcrowded teeth
- Gap between the teeth (more than 0,5 millimeter)
- Malocclusion (upper and lower teeth) with jaws closed
- Severe upper jaw deformity (known as overbite)
- Lower jaw sticking out ( known as underbite)
- Position of upper teeth inside the lower teeth on each side of the jaw (known as crossbite)
What are the main causes of orthodontic problems?
Heredity and genetic problems are causing malocclusion in children. It is not children’s fault when they inherit teeth or jaw deformities. Your children can experience the same problem that you have. Sometimes, some bad habits, such as, thumb sucking, pacifiers or other objects that children bite, can cause these misalignments in their teeth by the time. Mouth breathing, reflux, inability to swallow properly are also major factors in creating orthodontic problems.
How should I know my kid needs orthodontics?
Pediatric dentist’s diagnosis
It is a good idea, when baby teeth appear (around 6 months), parents seek pediatric dentists’ advice. Also, examinations can be done periodically until most permanent teeth come out. If there is a need for teeth correction or any oral and dental deformities, they can refer you to an orthodontist.
Diagnosis based on appearance and heredity
In addition to the problems we mentioned earlier, which some of them can be detected without dentists’ help, there are some more obvious factors ,such as heredity and appearance of the parents, which have been passed down to the children. By noticing occlusal problems, dental misalignment or any markers below, take your children to the orthodontists’ office:
14 signs that your kid needs an orthodontist’s interference:
- Early fall out of baby(primary) teeth and late appearance of permanent teeth
- Chewing problems
- Mouth breathing
- Making sounds in jaws while children speak or chew
- Articulation disorders
- Habitual lip biting or interior parts of cheeks
- Chronic gum lesions
- Tooth decay (even when brushing, flossing or mouthwash are practiced)
- Asymmetric face
- Teeth grinding
- Abnormality in appearance
- Headache, earache or pains in jaw
- Orthodontic problems among family members
- Damage to the teeth, jaw, and face of the child as result of physical injuries or trauma
11 reasons to do orthodontics in early ages
With the early diagnosis of orthodontic problems, you can start the treatment. Initial orthodontic treatment can reduce timely orthodontics later on and help your children in the following ways:
- Eating well
- Having a good speech production manner
- Breath well
- Perfect dental occlusion
- Higher self-esteem than before their treatment
- Socialize easily
- Ability to make friends
- Not having difficulty about oral and dental health
- Increase well-being
- Prevent tooth decay (as a result of teeth discrepancies)
- Decrease the high cost of orthodontics in the future
If you don’t practice orthodontics to the children, they will get into these situations:
Ignorance of the problems leads to much worse outcomes. These outcomes follow one another. For example, untreated dental and jaw deformities will take much severe forms like:
- Tooth decay
- Gum diseases (gingival, periodontal,…)
- Loosing teeth
- Breathing problems
- Low self-esteem
How to address orthodontic problems in children?
We try to put forward the gist of orthodontics treatment in 2 phases here:
It starts from 7 to 12 years in children. During this growing age, helping to widen palatal area is a priority. By that, we mean that teeth fit well in the jaw bones so that there is enough space for permanent teeth to erupt. They use functional orthodontic devices like palatal expander. This is also called preventive treatment.
What kinds of treatments are practiced in the first phase?
The correction treatments in this part are:
- Bad habits of thumb sucking and reaching out to front teeth with the tongue
- Airway in the oral cavity
- Deep overbite, small palatal area and crossbite
- Overcrowded teeth
- The problems with the size of jaw
The time needed for the first phase:
This phase takes 9 to 18 months and is a facilitator for the next phase. In other words, it helps your children wear orthodontics braces for a short period of time in the future.
Second phase of orthodontics treatment in children
As the development of the permanent teeth gets to its ends, we start to work on the second phase of treatment. We use fixed and rotary orthodontic instruments to complete what we have done in the first phase. This phase takes months or years to do.
How much does orthodontic in children cost?
This is the frequent question of all. Without examinations and radiography, it is not a good idea to say the exact amount of price.