Did you know that with proper orthodontic care, you can give your child the gift of an elegant, beautiful smile for life? At Smile Shoppe Pediatric Dentistry in Fayetteville, AR, our experienced team of seasoned pediatric dentists loves to help make that happen! We work with children and teens like yours to monitor the development of their bites, facilitate the healthy growth of their adult teeth, and correct any problems when needed.
You and your child will love both our friendly, compassionate energy and our great results. To get started, schedule an orthodontic exam today!
What Is Pediatric Orthodontic Care?
Pediatric orthodontics means more than just braces! The goal of pediatric orthodontic care is to help guide the overall development of your child’s bite and jaw to ensure a smooth, healthy outcome. In fact, regular orthodontic treatment, especially from an early age, can help make sure that your child avoids crowded, crooked teeth (and braces) entirely!
What Causes Orthodontic Problems in Children?
Most children experience some degree of orthodontic problems, which can include underbite, overbite, overcrowded teeth, gaps, or a jaw that doesn’t grow properly. These are often caused by:
- Early loss of baby teeth. When your child loses a baby tooth before the adult tooth is ready to grow in, neighboring teeth tend to shift their position and crowd the resulting gap. This leads to trouble when your child’s adult teeth are ready to come in, but can be treated with a spacer.
- Thumb sucking (or other sucking habits). While thumb sucking is a natural, healthy behavior, experts suggest encouraging your child to stop by age 2-3. Ongoing thumb sucking can create bite problems by forcing your child’s teeth to tip forward as they develop.
- Mouth breathing. Frequent mouth breathing interferes with the widening and advancement of your child’s upper jaw by moving the tongue out of its proper position. Related conditions like sleep-disordered breathing, snoring, and bruxism can also have a similar effect.
- Tongue tie. Like mouth breathing, tongue tie can also interfere with the proper positioning of your child’s tongue, contributing to developmental problems.
- Genetics. If you have or had crooked teeth, it is more likely that your child will as well.
- Poor oral hygiene. If your child’s teeth suffer from decay or damage as the result of poor oral hygiene, this can lead to the same problems as those caused by early loss of teeth or injury to the mouth.
When Should My Child Start Receiving Orthodontic Care?
We recommend bringing your child in for their first dental appointment by age 1 and coming in for consistent follow-ups every six months or so. Here at Smile Shoppe Pediatric Dentistry, we’ll also start monitoring your child’s orthodontic health, including their facial growth and dental development.
If necessary, we can also begin early orthodontic treatment. This involves the use of techniques like orthodontic trainers, expansion appliances (spacers), or Myobrace that allow us to help correct the shape of your child’s jaw and teeth as they are developing. For many children, this is enough to ensure that their teeth can grow in properly to the point where they may not end up needing braces at all. This can also save you a lot of money over time, as early orthodontic treatments tend to be considerably less expensive than braces.
However, if your child is too old to benefit from early orthodontic care, that’s okay! We offer Invisalign treatment, which combines great results with a level of discretion that teenagers, especially, tend to appreciate. Whatever your child’s age, we can help!
Give Your Child the Gift of a Beautiful Smile!
Contact us to schedule an orthodontic exam today!