Did you know we offer care for more than just teens and adults? We also help improve alignment in childhood years, including for kids as young as age seven. In today’s blog, your Fort Worth, TX, orthodontist talks about our phased approach to treating little smiles and improving overall alignment.
Misalignment in Childhood
Often, issues that develop in childhood could lead to misalignment that impacts the health, function, and beauty of your smile in adulthood. Issues with the growth and development of the jaw could alter how the teeth erupt, leading to misalignment. Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting in childhood could also be a factor. If baby teeth fail to fall out on time, or become lost too early, this alters how the permanent teeth arrive. We would like to see your child for an exam at around age seven. At this stage, there is a mix of permanent and baby teeth, so we can better assess the risk of misalignment. If we find signs of poor alignment, we can offer interceptive treatments.
The Phased Treatment
The phased approach, also known as interceptive orthodontics, helps guide the growth of the jaw and ease the severity of misalignment. In the early years, we could use teeth spacers or a custom-fitted retainer to help improve overall alignment and jaw health. For some, we could recommend braces, headgear, or aligners. The goal of this stage is to help limit severity in your child’s smile, and we will monitor the growth of the smile with periodic visits for exams and adjustments.
Continuing Care in Later Years
As your children grow older and approach the teen years, the next phase of the treatment will begin. For more severe cases, we could recommend braces, but we limit visibility with tooth-colored ceramic brackets instead of metal ones. We also have Invisalign® clear aligners too. This will be the final phase, correcting alignment and offering optimal results in about 18 months to 2 years on average. A straighter smile means a lowered risk of tooth decay and gum disease, and a reduced chance of TMJ disorder or bruxism (teeth grinding). Of course, your child also enjoys a more attractive smile, one that could help their self-confidence!
If you have any questions about our phased approach to treatment, then contact our team today to learn more. We want to help people of all ages enjoy straighter and healthier smiles!
DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT CHILDREN’S ORTHODONTICS?
We know how to help kids maintain better oral health with a phased approach to treatment. To learn more about our approach to treading little smiles, then please call Lake Country Orthodontics in Fort Worth, TX at (817) 236-7846. Our office proudly serves patients who live in Azle, Saginaw, and all surrounding communities.