Get a Head Start on a Beautiful Smile
As a parent in Kent, you want the best for your child. That includes healthy teeth and a pleasing smile.
Dr. Belli, Dr. Streit, and our entire team will treat your children like our own by giving them the best orthodontic care available.
Kids Should See an Orthodontist By Age 7
Some orthodontic problems should be addressed between the ages of 7 and 10 before your child has all of their permanent teeth.
Most of the time, your orthodontist will take a “wait-and-see” approach, and will re-evaluate the growth and development of your child periodically.
Our doctors will monitor your child as they grow and will recommend the ideal time for your child to start treatment when needed.
Phase I Treatment
The goal of Phase I treatment is to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate all of the permanent teeth and improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. Children often exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop.
A jaw that is growing too much or is too narrow can be recognized at an early age. If children over the age of six are found to have a jaw discrepancy, they are possible candidates for early orthodontic treatment.
Planning now can save your child’s smile later. Children benefit tremendously from early phase treatment. Receiving early treatment may prevent the removal of permanent teeth later in life, or the need for surgical procedures to realign the jaws.
We will take orthodontic records to determine your unique treatment needs. Records consist of models or digital scans of the teeth, X-rays, and photographs. During your child's initial consultation, Dr. Belli or Dr. Streit may take records to determine if early treatment is necessary.
At the end of the first phase of treatment the teeth are not in their final positions. This will be accomplished in the second phase of treatment. Your child will go into what is called a "resting period".
During this time, Dr. Belli or Dr. Streit will monitor your child as the remaining baby teeth are lost and the adult teeth erupt. Recall appointments are generally every six months.
Retainers may not be recommended if they would interfere with eruption.
The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly. Phase II usually involves full upper and lower braces.
The second phase begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 18 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.
Choosing the Best Time for Treatment
While the age that kids get braces may vary, orthodontic treatment most often begins between the ages of 9 and 14. Some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they’re treated early.
If Dr. Belli or Dr. Streit believe your child will need treatment, they’ll let you know when it will be best to begin treatment. This gives your orthodontist the best chance to:
- Guide jaw growth
- Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- Correct harmful oral habits
- Improve appearance and self-esteem in your child
- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
- Create a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips and face
Signs the Bite's Not Right
It's not always easy to tell when your child may need braces or has an orthodontic problem. Even teeth that look straight may be hiding a problem bite.
Here are some clues that may indicate the need for orthodontic attention:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Breathing through the mouth
- Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that are too far forward or back
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Upper and lower teeth that don't meet, or meet in an abnormal way
- An unbalanced facial appearance
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth
Learn More at Your Free Consultation
If your child has a dental issue, please contact us by setting up a free consultation at our Kent office.
We can talk about your child's orthodontic options and develop a treatment plan customized to your child's needs.