Dentistry for Children has expanded its services to include orthodontics for children. We are excited to offer FREE Orthodontic Consultations for kids at our Toms River, Howell, Neptune, and Jackson locations. Parents seeking orthodontic care for their children in Ocean County, New Jersey can now save time and avoid the hassle of finding an additional practice for orthodontic treatment. Our kid-friendly practices provide patients and families with a comfortable, consistent experience from comprehensive dentistry to full orthodontic care!
Pediatric dentistry and orthodontics go hand in hand, as the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic exam no later than the age of seven. Having an experienced orthodontist alongside our team of pediatric dentists allows for greater collaboration between our doctors, which is more beneficial to your child’s oral health.
Why is Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?
While pediatric dentists focus on the health of the teeth and gums, orthodontists focus on the growth and development of the teeth and jaw. The services provided by an orthodontist ensure proper spacing and alignment to allow for not only an attractive smile but a healthier smile. Properly aligned teeth make brushing and flossing easier, reduce the risk of decay, and are less likely to be fractured or damaged during falls or other injuries. More extreme cases, such as facial and jaw malalignment, can also be corrected with orthodontic treatment and can improve airway flow, reduce pain, and dramatically increase self-esteem in growing children.
While our pediatric dentists may notice preliminary orthodontic problems, only an orthodontist can provide a comprehensive evaluation to determine a proper course of action. Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, can be permanently changed and enhanced by orthodontic treatment. The orthodontists at Dentistry for Children have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide patients with both professional and personalized treatment plans.
The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children visit an orthodontist by the age of seven to assess potential tooth and jaw problems. Early orthodontic treatment is advantageous because a young child’s teeth have not finished erupting, which allows orthodontists to guide the growth of facial and jaw bones to address any problems at the earliest stage possible.
The goal of early treatment is to prevent a developing problem from worsening, eliminate the cause, and guide the growth of the facial and jaw bones to prepare enough space for the permanent teeth. A patient may require a second course of treatment after all permanent teeth have come in to move those teeth into their best positions, resulting in a health and functional “bite”.
An orthodontist may recommend treating a child who still has their baby teeth if they discover the following issues:
- Underbites – when the lower front teeth are ahead of the upper front teeth
- Crossbites – when the jaw shifts to one side
- Crowded front teeth
- Teeth that are spaced too far apart
- Extra or missing teeth
- Teeth that meet abnormally, or do not meet at all
- Thumb, finger, or pacifier sucking, that affects the teeth or jaw growth
While some of these issues are inherited by way of genetics, others may result from accidents, dental disease, or abnormal swallowing. Early orthodontic treatment can take many forms, and each plan will consider the patient’s oral growth and development. The orthodontist could prescribe a fixed or removable appliance to change the position of the jaw, move teeth, or hold teeth in place to see desirable changes. Sometimes appliances are not necessary, and rather, the removal of baby teeth may help the permanent teeth erupt better and straighter.
As your children rapidly grow, their mouths, jaws, and teeth are also growing and developing. Abnormal developments, such as crooked teeth, bite patterns, and jaw misalignment can be corrected (and sometimes prevented) by a pediatric orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should have an orthodontic evaluation by the time they are seven, but most children requiring orthodontic treatment usually begin their treatment between the ages of nine and sixteen.
In addition to their award-winning pediatric dental care, the team at Dentistry for Children now offers a range of professional orthodontic services including:
- Adolescent Orthodontic Treatment
- Clear or Ceramic Braces
- Early Orthodontic Treatment (Phase I & II)
- HERBST appliance
- Orthodontic Evaluation
- Palatal Expander
- Traditional Metal Braces