Braces for children
At Share A Smile Orthodontics, we believe all children should see an orthodontist no later than 7 or 8 years of age. This is because by age 7, enough permanent teeth have come in and enough jaw growth has occurred that problems can be identified.
Early treatment can eliminate the need for more drastic measures. In some cases, satisfactory results are unattainable once the face and jaws have finished growing. With proper timing, children may not have to endure years of embarrassment.
Early treatment provides the opportunity to:
- guide the growth of the young jaw bones creating a better environment for those new emerging permanent teeth
- guide incoming teeth into optimal positions
- regulate the width of the jaws
- lower the risk of trauma to prominent front teeth
- correct harmful sucking habits
- reduce the likelihood of teeth becoming stuck or impacted under the gums
- preserve or gain space for arriving permanent teeth
Some signs that may indicate the need for an early orthodontic examination:
- early or late loss of baby teeth
- difficulty chewing or biting
- crowding, malpositioned, or blocked out teeth
- jaws that shift or make sounds
- biting the cheek or roof of the mouth
- teeth that do not meet at all
- jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face
- finger sucking or pacifier habits continued beyond the age of 6
Starting your child’s treatment
Before we begin treatment we will ask that you bring your child in for a consultation. During this appointment we will talk to you in depth to build up an accurate history of your past dental and medical experiences.
We will then take digital X-rays which are used to detect problems of the teeth and gums. This means there is no waiting for X-rays to be developed as they show immediately on the computer screen and with greater clarity. In addition, radiation is reduced markedly compared to traditional X-rays, making them safer than they have ever been.
We are usually able to give new patients a broad picture of what is necessary to restore the teeth to maximum health and function. If your case suggests that you will benefit from specialist treatments such as Invisalign, then we will explain these options in detail too.
More specifically, the initial assessment is likely to result in one of four possible outcomes:
- You are not yet ready for treatment, in which case you might need to see the orthodontist again when you are older.
- Your dental health is not good enough. This may be due to poor tooth brushing or decayed teeth. Your dentist may send you to the orthodontist again when things have improved.
- You do not need treatment because the position of your teeth is perfectly acceptable, or expected to be.
- You are ready for treatment and need to decide whether to go ahead.
We treat patients under the NHS; however, if your child is under 18 but doesn’t qualify for NHS treatment we can still see them at a reduced cost. This treatment has the same limitations as NHS treatment, such as appointment times and choice of braces. We will discuss this with you at your child’s consultation.
Child orthodontic before and afters
Ella had a course of upper and lower removable appliances and then upper and lower fixed appliances. Treatment lasted two and a half years. She was 11-years-old when treatment started.
Elle had a course of upper and lower removable appliances first and then upper and lower fixed appliances. Treatment lasted three years. She was 13-years-old when treatment started.
Lili wore upper and lower fixed appliances and elastics for two years. She was 15-years-old when treatment started.
Ellie had upper and lower fixed appliances for seven months. She had to wear elastics to help with her bite. She was 13-years-old when treatment started.