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Children’s orthodontics

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Children’s Braces: Second Phase Orthodontics

By Children's orthodontics

Two-phase orthodontics can be incredible beneficial for children with orthodontic issues. Learn more about the benefits of children’s braces in this blog.

The goal of first phase orthodontics is to help a child’s jaw develop properly. Second phase orthodontics focuses on creating a smile that’s beautiful and fully functional. This phase of treatment is typically characterized by braces because the child’s adult teeth have almost fully developed.

Second phase orthodontics is much simpler when a patient has previously undergone orthodontic care to correct any jawbone issues. However, many times braces are the first experience a preteen or teenager has with an orthodontist.

Continue reading to learn about the benefits of Phase II orthodontics.

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The Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment for Adolescents

The preteen and teenage years are the most common time for second phase orthodontics to begin. When treatment starts early enough, it’s likely that the patient will have their braces off by the time high school begins or before his or her sophomore year of high school.

There are several benefits to completing phase one and two of orthodontic treatment by this time, including:

1.      Improved oral health

Whether your child has crooked, crowded, or gapped teeth, braces will do more than just improve his or her appearance. Braces can help reduce the risk of developing oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease.

Issues of malocclusion make it difficult for anyone to clean their teeth properly and effectively. This means that food and bacteria can easily be caught between the teeth and eat away at the dental enamel and/or soft tissues surrounding the teeth which often leads to cavities and gum disease.

When the teeth are perfectly aligned, brushing and flossing become easier and much more effective so the patient can avoid serious oral health problems.

2.      Better overall health

Braces improve the patient’s bite which makes it easier for patients to properly chew their food. This helps with digestion issues because the food is being broken up into smaller pieces before it moves into the stomach.

Additionally, when the risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease is lessened, so are many overall health issues. Untreated gum disease has been linked to health problems like diabetes, heart disease, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, and hormonal irregularities.

Though these health issues aren’t common in adolescents, parents can help their children avoid these health problems in the future.

3.      Boost in self-esteem

Unfortunately, many preteens and teens struggle with low confidence. This can seem even more detrimental than the aforementioned issues because it affects their mental health and all other aspects of their lives.

When a student enters junior high and high school, there are so many opportunities for him or her that have never been available before. Clubs, sports, speech class, and other activities allow students to explore their interests and passions. Sadly, students who struggle with low self-esteem may never take these opportunities. In addition, poor self-confidence can impact a student’s ability to make friends.

It’s been proven that people with beautiful smiles are more assured and appear to be more likable, successful, and happy. Braces can help your child have the confidence he or she needs to try new things, find new passions, and achieve their goals.

Schedule an Initial Consultation

We know that all parents want the best for their children, and we believe that orthodontic treatment is one of the best things a parent can give!

To meet with our experienced, family-friendly orthodontists, call (916) 924-8970 today.

young girl with braces

Children’s Braces: First Phase Orthodontics

By Children's orthodontics, Orthodontics, sacramento ortho

young girl with bracesWhat do you think of when you hear the word orthodontics? Many people envision preteens and teens with big smiles full of chunky metal brackets and wires. But did you know, children can begin orthodontic treatment as young as six years old? The American Dental Association recommends children visit an orthodontist by age seven. Depending on your child’s dental development, he may recommend children’s braces or other interceptive treatments, such as:

  • Headgear
  • Spacers
  • Functional appliances
  • Specialized retainers
  • Expansion appliances
  • Braces on selected teeth

First phase orthodontics is also referred to as early intervention orthodontics. It is typically followed by a second stage of treatment when the child is older. Phase one typically makes phase two much shorter and less complicated.

Reasons for Children’s Braces

Kids need braces and other interceptive treatments for a wide variety of reasons. A pediatric dentist may be the first to notice that your child could need orthodontic treatment. He or she will recommend you visit an orthodontist who can decide if treatment is needed, when treatment is necessary, and which devices would be the most beneficial.

Though it may seem like children’s teeth are less important than their permanent teeth, they aren’t! Your child’s first set of teeth will directly affect how their adult teeth develop. Here are some reasons for children’s braces:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Overlapping teeth
  • Overcrowded teeth
  • An overbite
  • An underbite

Many times, tooth and jaw problems are inherited, but they also occur as a result of an accident or a bad habit like thumb sucking.

Types of Children’s Braces

You may be surprised to hear that traditional metal braces aren’t the only orthodontic option for children. While traditional braces may be recommended, other options are available. Types of children’s braces include:

  • Ceramic: Instead of metal, brackets can be made from ceramic. This material is more discreet but not as strong as traditional braces.
  • Clear aligners: Invisalign® now makes aligners for children. Talk to your child’s orthodontist to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of this treatment.
  • Lingual: This braces option is secured to the back of the teeth, not the front, to be more discreet.

For children, traditional braces are often the best choice. They are extremely effective and require much less responsibility.

Remember, braces aren’t the only orthodontic treatment an orthodontist recommends. In fact, braces might not even be necessary. Talk to your child’s orthodontist about the pros and cons of all treatment options before deciding what’s best for your little one.

Benefits of First Phase Orthodontics

Choosing to treat your child’s dental problems early offers numerous potential benefits, including:

  • Positive jawbone growth
  • Improving the width of the top and bottom arches
  • Reduced need for extracting permanent teeth
  • Reduced or eliminated need for jaw surgery
  • Lower risk of trauma to jutted front teeth
  • Gains space for erupting teeth
  • Improves the position of first molars
  • Improved speech problems
  • Reduces risk of impacted permanent teeth
  • Shortens phase two treatment
  • Improves aesthetics
  • Heightens self-esteem

Visit an Experienced Orthodontist

If your pediatric dentist has recommended your child to an orthodontist, make sure the ortho has years of experience with children’s braces and other interceptive treatments.

Our board-certified orthodontists love serving the families of Auburn, CA and the surrounding areas. Dr. Markham and Dr. Scott love helping children achieve beautiful, healthy smiles through gentle orthodontic care, but they will only recommend it when it’s beneficial. Call our office today at (916) 924-8970 to schedule a complimentary evaluation.