Give Your Child The Smile They Deserve
Parents are usually relieved to learn that early orthodontics at Shullman Orthodontics is not about getting braces. It’s about setting your child up for a lifetime of optimal oral health, which is affected by the proper alignment and symmetry of their smile, jaw, and face. Your child’s early evaluation with our children’s orthodontist in Wellington, FL, is not simply for aesthetics but will help guide the growth and development of their jaw and teeth – preventing more serious problems later.
When Should My Child See An Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child’s initial orthodontic evaluation occur by age 7 – the time when adult teeth are erupting. At Shullman Orthodontics, we evaluate erupting teeth to detect issues such as a possible overbite, open bite, crowding, or gummy smiles. We can tell if your child will benefit from early treatment, as many potential problems may not be visibly apparent until prevention is too late. Beginning treatment at this optimal time not only ensures the greatest result but also means less time and fewer expenses down the road.
What Is The Benefit Of Early Treatment?
While parents don’t need to rush into obtaining braces for their young children, some oral health issues can be avoided with early screening and treatment, including:
- Open bites – when the upper and lower teeth are unable to physically touch each other when the jaws are closed
- Crossbites – when the two rows of teeth don’t meet correctly. A misaligned bite can cause tooth decay, gum disease, stress on the jaw muscles, headaches, and more.
- Speech impediments
- Injury to protruding teeth
Dr. Shullman Creates A Harmonious Smile In 2 Phases
Should your child’s evaluation result in recommended treatment, Dr. Shullman can both straighten your child’s teeth and align their jaw with little to no invasive treatment through our two-phase orthodontic treatment. This treatment works by guiding your child’s growth before their jaw has fully developed, ensuring that your child has a healthy and attractive smile.
Children aged seven and older who are experiencing issues such as teeth crowding or a misaligned jaw are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. Because children grow rapidly, directing the alignment of the upper and lower jaws is easier than trying to correct a jaw after it is already grown. Early treatment establishes a good foundation that provides adequate room for your child’s permanent teeth.
Two-phase orthodontic treatment can also prevent later removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws.
The first phase of treatment focuses on developing the jaw size to accommodate all the permanent teeth and to align the upper and lower jaws. Certain appliances, determined on a case-by-case basis, will be used by our children’s orthodontist in Wellington, FL, to accomplish this and will result in creating enough room for permanent teeth to grow.
The second phase will begin when all permanent teeth have erupted, and typically requires braces wearing braces for up to two years. Retainers are then worn to ensure lasting results. The end result is each tooth has an exact location in the mouth incongruity with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this harmony is established, the teeth will function together properly.