Recognizing and Treating Your Child’s Orthodontic Issues

If you’ve been wondering how to tell if your child will need orthodontic treatment, you’re not alone! Many parents we meet here at Wilson Orthodontics ask us this very question. However, the answer will vary from child to child! There are quite a few factors that must be considered, including the child’s age, how their teeth and jaws are aligned and developing and the desired results. The good news is that recognizing and treating your child’s orthodontic issues is what our Frisco orthodontic team is here to do!

The best way to address all of these areas at one time is an early orthodontic evaluation. The American Association of Orthodontists and Dr. Wilson recommend every child see an orthodontist around seven years old. By this age, most children will have enough dental landmarks in place that their teeth, jaw, and bite can be assessed for any potential oral issues. 

There are several common issues that Dr. Wilson and the team will be looking for during this initial evaluation, regardless of your child’s age. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things we see most often in our patients! 

Crowded teeth

Gaps in teeth are very common, especially in children. They can occur for a variety of reasons, from genetics to bad oral habits like thumb sucking or extended pacifier use. If your child has a bit too much space between their teeth, Dr. Wilson will identify the underlying cause and create a customized treatment plan to close the gaps. This will improve the overall appearance of your child’s smile and lead to healthier teeth in the long run.

Crowded teeth

Healthy teeth and gums are essential to your child’s oral health, but crowded teeth can make it difficult to brush and floss effectively. This increases their chance of tooth decay and cavities. If your child has crowded teeth, we can move them into straighter positions in small increments over time. This will result in a smile that’s easier to clean and keep healthy. Treatment with Wilson Orthodontics can even relieve chewing and speech difficulties!

Missing teeth

Gaps can exist because of congenitally missing teeth or a loss of a tooth due to injury or disease. In some cases, Dr. Wilson is able to close the space left by the missing tooth. Other times, our skilled team will properly position the adjacent teeth and the overall bite to ensure the success of a future dental implant (any implants will be done by an oral surgeon, not your orthodontist). 

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Open bite / Habit

With an open bite, the upper and lower rows of the front teeth don’t touch or close when smiling or chewing. Many open bites come from extended thumb sucking in childhood, which can cause the teeth to grow into a noticeably rounded formation. Another common cause is improper positioning of the tongue during swallowing, commonly referred to as a tongue thrust. The sooner your child stops the habit, the more the teeth will revert to where they were supposed to be.

Deep overbite

If your child has a deep overbite, you’ll notice the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth too much. A deep overbite can be very detrimental to the teeth and potentially the health of the jaw joints. The lower front teeth can be significantly and prematurely worn down from this positioning. It can also have an impact on your child’s face shape and appearance by aging the face with collapsed lips which can make the chin and nose more prominent. Correcting a deep bite misalignment like this will greatly improve the functionality of your child’s teeth and dramatically improve the appearance of their smile!

Underbite

An underbite occurs when the bottom teeth protrude in front of the upper teeth (a front-to-back problem). There are several treatment options available for patients with underbites at Wilson Orthodontics. These include:

  • Traditional braces with rubber bands to adjust the misaligned teeth. An additional spring appliance may be used if rubber bands aren’t enough.
  • Jaw surgery: this is used to correct the most severe underbite cases

These treatments will make it easier for your child to smile, eat, and even breathe more effectively. 

Excessive Overjet

If your child has an overjet that is too large, their top front teeth will protrude far beyond the bottom front teeth. This is commonly referred to as “buck teeth.” Teeth that stick out too far are much more likely to have trauma occur to them (a fall, a ball to the face, etc.). The child’s age and specific needs will determine what treatment approach we take, but options will usually include:

  • bite correction devices
  • traditional braces
  • removable orthodontic appliances
  • tooth removal

Once you work with Dr. Wilson to decide on the correct treatment for your child’s overjet, they’ll be left with a beautifully balanced smile after it’s completed.

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Give your child’s smile a head start at Wilson Orthodontics

At Wilson Orthodontics in Frisco, our team is committed to providing personalized care for every child we treat. During your child’s first visit, Dr. Wilson will design a personalized treatment plan based on their unique smile needs and the desired results. Our goal is to give families a rewarding and stress-free experience, from the first appointment to the last! 

If you’ve been wondering if your child would benefit from orthodontic care, our team would love to meet you both and take a look at how their smile is developing! If you’re in Frisco or the surrounding areas, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Wilson. Let’s work together to create a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles for your child!

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