Orthodontic treatments in children are often referred to as early interceptive orthodontics. These orthodontic treatments can include a wide range of methods, from clear aligners to traditional metal braces. Here, our orthodontists talk you through how to know if your child needs orthodontic treatment and their options of they do.
Good orthodontic health can help your child to conduct a wide number of necessary activities in their day to day life like effectively chewing food or speaking, while also promoting good long term oral health. Orthodontic interventions have historically begun after all of a child's adult teeth have emerged (usually around ages 12 or 13).
However, more and more research has indicated that monitoring your child's orthodontic health for possible issues like misalignments or malocclusions and interceding when needed is the best way to ensure their long term oral health.
This practice is called early interceptive orthodontics and can include a wide variety of orthodontic treatments and appliances, from elastics to clear aligners and traditional braces.
Early Interceptive Orthodontics
When you bring your child in to an orthodontist for a possible orthodontic issue, there are three possible results from your orthodontist's examination of your child smile:
- the issue will likely resolve itself as your child continues to grow and so no action is required
- no action is require immediately but your child's issue will require monitoring to ensure it can be treated at the right time
- early interceptive orthodontic treatment is immediately required.
When you child is still growing, their mouth shape and jaw bones are more pliable and easy to correct, so treatment times will be less than in teens or adults and may be more effective as well!
When treatment is required, it will often involve orthodontic appliances like elastics, but can also involve clear aligners or traditional braces with metal brackets and wires in order to set the stage for orthodontic interventions throughout your child's teen years.
Orthodontic Appliances for Children
When it comes to early orthodontic appliances, your child will have a number of different options depending on the nature of their orthodontic issue and their personal preference.
At SmileTown Orthodontics, we offer Invisalign First clear aligners as an orthodontic treatment option for children.
If your child is a candidate for clear aligners, after a visit with our orthodontists, they will be fitted for one of more sets of clear aligners to gradually adjust the positions of their teeth as they continue to grow and their adult teeth begin to erupt.
If your child is not a good candidate for clear aligners or you need a more durable or affordable treatment, traditional braces are also a highly reliable and effective option for early orthodontic intervention.
Many parents will also choose traditional braces if their child requires treatment on a less visible part of their mouth. And, as with braces for teens or adults, your child will have to visit your orthodontist. Usually the check ups will happen every 6 - 8 weeks for a tightening and to make sure treatment is progressing at the correct pace.