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Orthodontic Treatment for Children

Treatment for Children

Parents usually have many questions about orthodontic treatment for their children. The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends children between the ages of 8-10 years visit a registered specialist orthodontist for an assessment.

This allows the orthodontist to examine and evaluate your child’s existing and incoming teeth and determine whether or not early treatment might be necessary. Usually treatment will not begin until between one to five years after the initial consultation, it is still helpful in determining whether your child has any problems with the jaw and teeth at an earlier age, when they may be easier to treat. Earlier treatment can also be financially beneficial to correct a potential problem than delayed treatment. For some children, early treatment can prevent physical trauma to the protruding front teeth and reduce emotional distress if teasing is occurring. Also it is important to bear in mind that severely crowded teeth can prevent good oral hygiene.

Early orthodontic treatment is known as Phase One. Phase One aims to correct more serious bite related problems as well as guide the jaw’s growth pattern. Early treatment may also be of help to make extra room in the child’s mouth for permanent teeth to have enough room as they come in.

Does my Child need Orthodontic Treatment?

Here are some signs to observe that may indicate your child needs to see an orthodontist sooner rather than later:

  • Early loss of baby teeth (before age five)
  • If your child's teeth do not meet properly at all when biting
  • Mouth breathing and/or snoring
  • If your child's front teeth are crowded or protrude
  • Issues biting or chewing
  • A speech impediment
  • If your child's jaw shifts when he or she opens or closes the mouth