You want to give your kids the best start in life, and are conscientious of their health and emotional well being. Making sure they receive proper orthodontic care through Molen Orthodontics, either with braces or other orthodontic treatments, can give your children the amazing gift of a healthy, natural-looking smile. When you choose Molen Orthodontics for your child, you can be sure that they will be treated with kindness and dedication as if they were our own children. And, when it comes to designing a treatment plan for your little ones, you can feel confident they’re in the best possible hands. Our orthodontists continually work to learn techniques that allow them to create more natural, wide, and curved smiles for your children. In fact, our orthodontists are sought out by other orthodontists and orthodontic associations to teach how to treat patients using many of the cutting-edge techniques our doctors have developed and pioneered.
By considering orthodontic care while your child still has baby teeth, we can take advantage of the fact that the palate, jaws, and teeth develop rapidly during childhood, and can be influenced in the right direction by early orthodontic intervention. Often, when patients are seen and treated at a younger age, the results are more stable. Additionally, the treatment can take less time because it is planned to work along their natural growth cycle.
When Should your Child First see an Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends bringing your child to see us by the age of 7. While the odds are that your child will not need treatment or braces at that point, it’s important for us to examine your child’s jaw and palate development, just to make sure that everything is happening as it should. By seeing you child early, we will also have more context as we monitor their future growth. With this additional context we can more accurately determine if an orthodontic issue is improving or worsening on its own. By monitoring your child’s growth, we can often recommend preventative treatment, like expanders or space maintainers, to minimize the development of more serious issues in adolescence or later in life.
What are the Benefits of Childhood Orthodontic Care?
There are a lot of reasons why it’s important to bring your kids in to see the experts at Molen Orthodontics at a young age. First of all, we can give your child’s jaw, palate, airway, and teeth a thorough examination, to make sure that everything is growing the way that it should.
If there are any issues, they’re often much easier to deal with while your child’s bones are still growing and hardening. Otherwise, if your child only sees us for the first time as a teenager, the jaws, teeth, and palate are much less malleable, and may need more intensive treatment to correct. In our office we only use palatal expanders while the sutures are unfused and malleable. This ensures a far more pleasant experience for your child than those who had jaw expanders after their sutures had fused closed. Seeing your child while they still have baby teeth ensures that the key sutures are still open and available for expansion if needed.
Because your child’s bones are still growing, early treatment enables us to guide your child’s facial development. If it’s appropriate for your child a two-phase treatment will be recommended in stages so that a perfect smile is achieved. This tends to create more stable results and a reduced need of surgery or the removal of adult teeth, since the facial bones will develop around the properly aligned teeth.
What Types of Issues Can Be Corrected?
Our method of early treatment can correct a wide range of issues:
- Narrow dental arches, allowing for the development of a wider, more attractive smile
- Severe overbites or underbites
- Deep bites
- Small lower jaws or weak chins
- Excessive crowding
- Gummy smiles
- Protruding or flared teeth (buck teeth)
- Airway problems
- Crossbites (which should be corrected as early as possible to avoid tooth or jaw damage)
What does Treatment Involve?
At Molen Orthodontics, we specialize in two-phase orthodontic treatment. That doesn’t mean every child that walks into our office will require two-phase treatment. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, since our doctors tend to be more conservative and only recommend two-phase treatment when they feel it is absolutely necessary. However, if your child does require two-phase treatment, you can rest assured that our doctors are leaders in the practice of two-phase orthodontics.
The first phase starts with the analysis and monitoring of your child’s jaw, palate, and tooth growth, and can involve treatment such as arch expansion or placement of appliances to promote proper jaw development. The first phase tends to last about 12-18 months, after which there is a rest period. During that time, we monitor your child’s facial and dental development, to ensure that everything is growing as it should. Phase two starts when all of the adult teeth have come in. At that point, Damon braces will be custom placed by hand on all of the adult teeth, including the 2nd molars in the far back of the mouth, to ensure that the teeth are aligned into perfect position. Our doctors also avoid the use of uncomfortable metal bands around the molar teeth during phase two treatment. This results in a more comfortable orthodontic experience, better gum health around the molars, and no residual spacing being left behind after the metal bands are removed.
We know how important it is for your child to receive the best of care, and our commitment to quality and attention to detail will result in your child having a straight, dazzling, healthy smile that will last a lifetime—without headgear and usually without the extraction of adult teeth.
Contact us today to learn more or to book your child’s FREE consultation!