Early Orthodontics for Children
Dr. Bibby and the Canadian and American Associations of Orthodontists recommend first being assessed by an Orthodontist around age seven.
By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and improve tooth and jaw problems sooner. Dr Bibby will only recommend Early Orthodontic treatment when delaying treatment (until age 12-13yrs) will make a problem more complex or much more difficult to correct. If it is OK to wait we will let you know.
Benefits of Early Treatment (Phase I) can include:
- Improve and guide the growth of your child's jaw to improve their bite and give a more stable correction
- Expand and match the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded and impacting teeth
- Reduce the need for permanent tooth extractions and jaw surgery later
- Decrease the risk of traumatic injury to protruded upper front teeth
- Correct thumb-sucking and help improve minor speech problems
- Improve a child’s confidence level and self-esteem
For parents, it's not always easy to know if your child may benefit from Early Orthodontic treatment. If you are not sure, we suggest you book a consultation so Dr. Bibby can determine whether treatment is indicated, and the most ideal timing for your child.
Here are a few signs that your child should see an Orthodontist:
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth, around age seven or eight
- Crossbites, Underbite, or when the front teeth do not meet (Openbite)
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Large spaces between the teeth
- Teeth or Jaws that seem out of proportion to the rest of the face
- Difficulty chewing and/or biting food. Moving the jaw to one side to chew
- Mouth breathing, Snoring, Sleep apnea
- Finger or thumb-sucking
- Speech concerns especially lisp and tongue thrust
Early (Phase I) Treatment may include:
·Expanders to improve crossbites and arch widths
- Jaw Growth (Orthopedic) appliances to improve jaw size discrepancies
- Limited braces for short periods to assist impacted teeth or to improve space
- Habit correction appliances, Space maintainers
- Monitoring eruption and selective removal of baby teeth, in conjunction with your Dentist
If your child shows signs of needing Orthodontic care, please contact us to schedule an appointment. Dr. Bibby will perform a full evaluation and discuss with you the best steps to take towards optimum health for your child's teeth, bite, and smile.