At Douglas L. Park DDS Pediatric Dentistry, we take the health of your child’s mouth very seriously. Misaligned teeth can have a major impact on your child’s adult life. The American Association for Orthodontics recommends that your child has their very first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. This evaluation allows us to see potential problems early on, and take measures to prevent them. We can do this with limited orthodontics.
What is Orthodontic Treatment?
Misaligned teeth have a serious impact on your child’s quality of life. Not only do they make it more difficult to chew food properly, but crooked teeth are also more difficult to keep clean. This can raise your child’s risk of developing tooth decay. Crooked teeth can also lead to serious jaw pain. Not to mention they can affect your child’s smile and their confidence. Orthodontic treatment is a treatment that is aimed at straightening misaligned teeth. By straightening them, not only is your child’s smile greatly improved, their teeth are easier to keep clean. This improves dental and gum health. Moreover, straight teeth can help to improve your child’s overall nutrition by making the foods they eat easier to digest.
Limited Orthodontics – Phase One
Limited orthodontic treatment is used for patients who have only a few teeth that need to be straightened. It can also be used for children who don’t yet have all of their permanent teeth.
While treatment is often designed for taking care of an issue with only a few teeth, it can also be used as the first phase in children’s orthodontics. During this phase (completed before the age of 12), we are concerned with the position and symmetry of your child’s jaw, along with development, tooth spacing, breathing and other oral habits. All of these things can contribute to serious dental issues later in life.
Phase one of treatment is designed to prevent these serious complications from occurring. In most cases, we can significantly reduce the treatment required as your child gets older. It is also possible, in some instances, that the need for later treatment can be eliminated.
Braces – Phase Two
Phase two of orthodontic treatment focuses on the fit of your child’s teeth and jaws. During this phase, braces are often placed. Braces consist of metal brackets, which are affixed to your child’s teeth and archwire. The archwire is anchored to your child’s back teeth by metal bands, and attach to each of the brackets with elastic O-rings. The wire is responsible for the movement of your child’s teeth. Every time the wire is adjusted, it puts pressure on the teeth, gently loosening them in their sockets, and guides the teeth into their desired locations. Once there, the braces help to hold the teeth in their new location while the jawbone grows around the tooth. Depending upon the condition of your child’s mouth, rubber bands, springs, and other equipment may also be used to guide the jaw to where it needs to be. With limited orthodontics, the amount of time, and the involvement, of phase two treatment is lessened.
Early orthodontic treatment can help to limit, or even eliminate, serious dental issues later in life. Contact Douglas L. Park DDS Pediatric Dentistry today at (503) 663-8141 to learn more.