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Child Orthodontics

If your child loses a baby tooth early, through decay or injury, his or her other teeth could shift and begin to fill the vacant space. When your child’s permanent teeth emerge, there’s not enough room for them. The result is crooked or crowded teeth and difficulties with chewing or speaking. Space maintainers are nifty devices that can help teeth grow in normally. The devices can help ensure that proper spaces are maintained to allow future permanent teeth to erupt.

According to research done by the American Association of Orthodontics, it is best for the orthodontist to see children by age 7 to advise if orthodontic treatment is required and the best time for that patient to be treated. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time, and back and front teeth growth and misaligned teeth can be evaluated. When treatment is begun during tooth exchange, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and incoming teeth.

Treatment at a young age can also regulate the width of the upper and lower jaws, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and helps eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, treatment of young children ages 7 through 11, can simplify later treatment.