A variety of tooth and jaw issues open up the door to orthodontics in a growing child. Dr. Mai may point out that your child’s baby teeth appear crowded, or the relationship between the jaws isn’t ideal. While not generally the time for treatment, it may help you prepare for the possibility of future corrective care. As permanent teeth start to appear, usually around age 6, Dr. Mai monitors the process further and helps you decide if early orthodontic treatment makes sense.
Although the majority of cases involve teenagers, braces can play a role for some kids in their earlier years. Since permanent teeth are typically larger than baby teeth, space may need to be opened with the gentle force of braces. This allows teeth to move into place properly, helping avoid more extensive treatment later.
A narrow jaw or a large overbite may create a similar dilemma. Guiding jaw growth while your child’s developing can make a tremendous difference in the long-term outcome. Once the growth stops in teen years, the only corrective measure often involves surgery…always a good scenario to avoid when possible.