What is it? Is it even necessary since most children spend the first seventeen to eighteen years of their life growing, losing, and replacing their teeth?
Pediatric orthodontics is the field that specifically focuses on the oral and dental health of children from birth to adolescence. The purpose of this field is that make sure that a child’s teeth are coming in, and that there is proper alignment and no malocclusions.
But is it necessary? While most children are treated by a standard dentist, it is sometimes necessary for a pediatric orthodontist to examine the teeth of a child patient to monitor the progression of the child’s oral health.
In the event of dental difficulties that a standard dentist cannot handle, such as root canals on adult teeth that have not full formed, a pediatric orthodontist is fully trained and equipped to handle the responsibilities inherent in the task.
Pediatric orthodontics is more than just dealing with straightening teeth. Just because a kid has a great smile, that doesn’t mean that their oral health doesn’t need to be looked at; orthodontists look beyond the appearance, examining the movement of the teeth as well as their placement.
It’s also important to make sure that your child is seen by a pediatric orthodontist before the age of seven (7) years old. This is known as interceptive treatment or aka Phase 1. Most children have the first molars coming in by that age and so it is important to have them assessed before those larger chompers begin crowding the teeth that had come in earlier. This is where we try to intercept bigger problems from occurring later on.
Some of the problems that may warrant early orthodontic treatment are:
• Underbites, where lower teeth are ahead of the upper teeth
• Thumb sucking habits
• Protruding front teeth
• Severely deep bites
• Sever space deficiency
Addressing some of these problems early on simplifies the second stage (phase 2) of treatment. It also helps in avoiding extractions of adult teeth as space was adequately created for proper teeth eruption.
If you don’t already have an orthodontist that specializes in pediatric patients, Amazing Smiles is happy to provide a complimentary visit. Consider all of this information, and you’ll be smiling pretty for a long time to come.