Orthodontics for Children & Teenagers

Malocclusion is the improper positioning of the teeth, head, and jaws. It is a variation of normal growth and development which can affect the bite, the ability to clean teeth properly, gum tissue health, jaw growth, speech development, and appearance.

Heredity and environmental factors can play a role in developing malocclusions. The shape and size of the face, jaws, and teeth are determined mostly by inheritance.

Environmental factors, such as, oral habits, dental pathology and space loss can have a large impact in the development of malocclusion.

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AGES 3-6

deciduous (baby) teeth

In this important stage, we are concerned about more than your child’s teeth. The position and symmetry of the jaws, future growth, spacing of the teeth, breathing and oral habits can result in abnormal dentofacial development.

AGES 7-9

mixed dentition

During this second stage of development, key interests will be your child’s occlusion, how the upper and lower jaws match now and how they will match in the future. Future available space for the teeth, including the wisdom teeth, is also important In this stage. Common procedures used in this stage are guidance of eruption of the permanent teeth, orthodontic, and orthopedic correction with removable or fixed appliances.

This is an excellent stage to start treatment, when indicated, as your child’s hard and soft tissues are usually very responsive to orthodontic and orthopedic forces. In addition, children tend to be very cooperative in this stage of development.

AGES 10+

all permanent teeth

In this stage of development, attention will directed at how your child’s teeth and jaws fit and work together. Attention will be given to the jaw joint (TMJ), the facial profile and periodontal tissues.

Treatment involves straightening teeth and correcting the occlusion with fixed orthodontic appliances. Aligning the jaws and joints for healthy function and positioning the teeth for improved esthetics so the dentition supports, and is in harmony with child’s facial profile at maturity.

DIAGNOSTIC RECORDS

X-RAYS will be taken of the teeth, head, and jaws. These records reveal the bone structure, how the jaws and teeth fit together and if all the teeth are present and forming properly. A child’s bone developmental age may differ from their calendar age. A wrist x-ray provides the true biological age on which growth simulations are based.

PLASTER MODELS of the teeth will be made allowing tooth measurements and to see how the teeth fit together.

PHOTOGRAPHS of the face and profile will be taken to show the relationship between the nose, lips and chin.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN DIAGNOSTIC CENTER

Your child’s x-rays and arch impression are sent to RMO DIAGNOSTIC Center. This information is processed through a computer program. The results of this computer analysis gives us a simulation of possible results of growth combined with treatment compared to the present situation.

The computer results provide the following information:

  • HOW YOUR CHILD’S FACE WILL GROW
  • HOW TALL YOUR CHILD WILL BE
  • BREATHING ANALYSIS
  • WHAT WILL HELP YOUR CHILD LOOK BEST
  • IF THEIR WILL BE ROOM FOR WISDOM TEETH
  • HOW YOUR CHILD’S TEETH AND JAWS CAN BEST FUNCTION
  • MAKING SURE YOUR CHILD’S TREATMENT WILL LAST
  • GROWTH FORECASTS COMPARING YOUR CHILD WITH AND WITHOUT TREATMENT AT MATURITY

This information allows the development of a custom orthodontic treatment plan for your child.