Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early Orthodontic Treatment for Children

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist by age seven. At this point Dr. White and Dr. VanDevanter can evaluate whether your child will need orthodontic treatment before all adult teeth are in. Early treatment allows us to more predictably treat certain conditions that otherwise would only be treated with extraction of permanent teeth or jaw surgery. 

How to tell if your child may need early orthodontic treatment:

  • A referral from your General Dentist or Pediatric Dentist
  • Crowding or overlapped teeth
  • Narrow, "V-shaped" palate
  • Mouth breathing, snoring, or history of sleep disturbances
  • Protruding upper front teeth
  • Underbite of the front teeth
  • Finger or tumb sucking after age five
  • Openbite (no overlap of the upper and lower front teeth)
  • Speech impediments
  • Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes his or her mouth (crossbites)

What causes these kind of orthodontic problems?

Many orthodontic problems are genetic.  For instance, crowding of the teeth may be the result of inheriting large sized teeth from one parent, and smaller jaws from the other parent.

Other problems may be the result of injury or environmental factors.  If your child sucks their thumb or finger it may result in a narrow palate and protrusion of the upper front teeth.  Premature loss of baby teeth due to injury or decay can result in loss of space needed for developing adult teeth. Our team will provide your child with an initial exam, and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child's smile.