Address bite and teeth issues now!

Pediatric orthodontics is used to address bite irregularities in children from an early loss in baby teeth, harmful oral habits such as thumb sucking to genetic concerns. It helps prepare and set the child up for a healthy and functional smile.

Anthem Pediatric Dentistry in Henderson provides patient-centered pediatric orthodontic treatments equipping kids with self-confidence through early intervention. Learn more about what pediatric orthodontics may involve in today’s post.

The Case For Pediatric Orthodontics

Pediatric orthodontics may seem counterintuitive, don’t kids’ baby teeth fall out and then adult teeth grow in, making it a better time for orthodontics? For most kids, this is the case, but for others, orthodontic irregularities surface in toddlerhood and early childhood.

A straight smile has always been more than aesthetics, it reduces the risk of periodontal disease and early tooth decay, and it’s vital to a child’s overall health to have healthy teeth early on.

Through biannual visits to your dentist, the dentist will be able to monitor facial and jaw development and use diagnostic tests and tools to identify concerns. A pediatric orthodontic evaluation should happen early and before the age of eight.

Do young children really need an orthodontic intervention?

Ongoing monitoring from your dentist is the first step, but as your child begins to grow, severe orthodontic irregularities may emerge and early orthodontic treatments may benefit your child in many ways, including:

  • Better self-confidence
  • Improved alignment of the jaw
  • Creating more space for adult teeth
  • Proper jaw growth
  • Minimized teeth grinding
  • Reduced occurrence of cavities and periodontal disease
  • Fewer instances of impacted adult teeth
  • Decreased speech issues
  • Shorter orthodontic treatment in teen/adulthood

The 3 Stages of Pediatric Orthodontics

Early orthodontic treatments for children are recognized in three stages.

Stage 1 – Early Treatment (2-6 years old)

Early treatment sees patients as young as two, all the way into their sixth year. This may seem young, but if your dentist identifies biting issues, an early loss in baby teeth, jaw growth concerns, or breathing issues, this early stage intervention is extremely important and beneficial.

This stage of pediatric orthodontics focuses on guiding and regulating the width of dental arches. This will include the dentist and parents partnering to eliminate harmful habits such as thumb sucking and pacifier use. Dental appliances may be implemented to support proper jaw development and holding space for adult teeth, or devices used to prevent teeth from shifting into undesired positions.

Stage 2: Middle Dentition (6-12 years old)

Middle dentition addresses jaw alignment and the correction of crossbites, through gradually straightening permanent teeth. This period in children marks a time when both hard and soft tissues are extremely malleable, making it an optimal time to begin tackling any major malocclusions.

Depending on the case, the dentist will provide appliances — some will be removable, and others fixed, such as braces.

Stage 3: Adolescent Dentition (13+ years old)

Teen orthodontics is what comes to mind when we think of traditional orthodontic treatments. Because of the work done in previous stages, stage three’s main goal is straightening the adult teeth to improve aesthetics.

Braces are a typical orthodontic option, but our Henderson dental office also provides Invisalign® for children as an alternative. The average treatment time for braces in stage three is about two years, but can be shorter or longer depending on your child’s case.

As we’ve explored, pediatric orthodontics is warranted in kids as young as two who have jaw and facial growth and development issues and can be extremely effective in addressing current concerns and future orthodontic problems.

Each stage gently addresses orthodontic concerns by dismantling bad oral habits and introducing orthodontic appliances and braces.

Is pediatric orthodontics right for your child? Ask your dentist for an orthodontic evaluation and discuss any concerns with them today.

Premier Pediatric Orthodontics in Henderson

Parents choose Anthem Pediatric Dentistry in Henderson for pediatric orthodontics time and time again, because of our unrivaled and comprehensive pediatric services. Not only are we here for a routine teeth cleaning, but we can also adjust braces at the same time, making us convenient for parents.

As a parent, you can feel confident in our services and you’re always allowed to escort your child back into the treatment area.

Enjoy patient-focused pediatric care and schedule with Anthem Pediatric Dentistry today!