What is early intervention or pediatric orthodontics? We’re glad you asked! It’s a common misconception that a child doesn’t need to see an orthodontist until the end of elementary or middle school. Movies portraying Jr. High school students with metal braces hasn’t helped dispel this, but the truth is your darling daughter or son will need to have their first visit to a pediatric orthodontics specialist by age seven because it’s not always all about braces and often times there is a deeper need for early intervention or pediatric orthodontics.
Of course orthodontic braces will provide your child with that sparkling, unique-to-them smile by straightening their teeth, and it will also help your child enjoy better oral health that will carry them through their entire life. But braces are really only one portion of the big orthodontic care picture. At Dr. Bita Orthodontics, a San Fernando Valley leader in early pediatric orthodontic interventional treatments, we know how critical this is because it not only works in concert with traditional braces and clear aligners, but pediatric orthodontic treatments can also shorten the amount of time your child will need to wear braces and fix any issues that braces alone cannot.
Here’s what’s involved in pediatric orthodontics and why it’s really important to make sure your son or daughter sees Dr. Bita for their early interventional appointment at age seven.
THE EARLIER THE BETTER!
The American Academy of Orthodontists says you should take your children for an initial office visit by their 7th birthday. Yes, that early! That’s because by the time they’re seven, the jaw is at a level where the orthodontist can spot and repair potential problems while the issues are in their infancy. And since a 7-year-old’s jaw and teeth are still growing, it’s the ideal time for pediatric orthodontic intervention and treatment that will facilitate proper growth.
During an initial visit, Dr. Bita will evaluate your child’s teeth and jaw, their bite pattern, and other factors and from there she will recommend an early course of action, braces, or hold off to see how things develop.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Your child may be scared or concerned before they come in for the free consultation, so it’s important to understand what will be involved. First, there is no treatment on this initial visit. Second, it’s pretty simple and very straightforward and Dr. Bita’s staff is not only welcoming but also kind and attuned to the fears that accompany pediatric orthodontics. Third, the visit is painless and doesn’t involve any needles or drills, but there will definitely be a smile or two.
During the visit, your child will sit in a dental chair, just like at the dentists office, while Dr. Bita does an evaluation of your child’s teeth and the way he or she bites. If needed Dr. Bita and her staff may also take X-rays and photos. Once the evaluation
is complete, she’ll sit down with you and your child to discuss any findings, go over any and all recommendations, and answer all questions you or your child may have.
- Visual assessment
- Possible x-rays and impressions
- Photos may be taken
- What, if any, problem(s) need to be addressed
- Will teeth need to be removed
- How long will treatment last
MORE THAN JUST BRACES
Dr. Bita offers an array of pediatric orthodontics options, each of which can be customized for your child’s unique
needs. Often, alignment problems begin with overcrowding, where your child’s mouth just doesn’t have room enough for all of the teeth. When your child’s jaw is small, it can also throw off the bite balance, resulting in long-term problems like uneven tooth wear, chronic headaches and jaw pain. To treat overcrowding, Dr. Bita might recommend an expander, which is a special appliance designed to help your child’s jaw grow to accommodate the incoming adult teeth. Below are some issues the doctor will look for.
Pediatric Orthodontic Conditions:
- Overbites, underbites, and crossbites
- Gaps and uneven spacing
- Bite problems, including teeth that don’t line up
- Uneven jaw growth
- Thumb-sucking or pacifier use that may cause abnormal jaw growth
Dr. Bita may recommend extractions, including baby teeth, to make room for adult teeth that are about to erupt. Other treatment options can include realigning the upper and lower jaws with appliances or treatments to correct tongue-thrusting and other habits, like past thumb-sucking that can or have pushed teeth outward.
There are some parents who believe that their child’s teeth are straight and by all appearances, they may be; however they might still need preventative pediatric orthodontic measures to prevent issues that can arise once the adult teeth come in.
Dr. Bita Orthodontic Group, Encino
We know that having early pediatric orthodontic care at Dr. Bita Orthodontics in Encino is one of the best things you can do to set your child up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and a truly unique-to-them smile. To find out if your child could benefit from early pediatric orthodontic treatment and to setup a free consultation please contact Dr. Bita Orthodontic Group today.