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Orthodontic Treatments at Any Age: Part 1

Part I: Children

Traditionally the field of orthodontics has been associated with children and teenagers. Many older adults do visit the dentist when they experience tooth pain and other dental issues. Braces are commonly worn by kids to correct problems early in life which is why teens and children are more likely to be associated with getting orthodontic treatments. In this two-part series, we will look at the benefits of orthodontic treatments for school age children as well as those for seniors.

Orthodontic Treatments for Children

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children make their first visit to the orthodontist by the age of seven. That means that by the time your kids are in first or second grade they should at least have a consultation with an orthodontist to look for possible dental issues.

Many oral problems that can be solved by braces start early in life, which is why it’s important that your children see the orthodontist by the recommended age. It won’t take long for a professional to diagnose any potential issues and get a head start on them.

Common Orthodontic Problems in Children

  • Jaw Size – Your orthodontist will make sure your child’s jaws are growing properly. The upper and lower jaw don’t grow at the same rate. The upper jaw stops growing about the age of eight while the lower one keeps growing with the rest of the body.
  • Room for Growth – Some kids will have their baby teeth get in the way and prevent their permanent teeth from growing in. Most baby teeth will fall out on their own, but some of them will need to be pulled to ensure that the permanent teeth don’t start growing in the wrong directions.
  • Amount of Teeth – If your child has too many teeth, the extras may need to be removed. If they are short a tooth or two, your orthodontist will likely wait until the permanent teeth have grown in before starting treatment.
  • Snoring – Children who snore may suffer from sleep apnea. This condition has to do with stopping breathing during sleep and can be diagnosed as early as four or five. Your orthodontist can widen a child’s palate to expand their upper jaw and nasal passages which help with breathing during sleep.
See part two of our Orthodontic Treatments at Any Age series where we discuss how orthodontic treatments are becoming more popular for seniors.
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