Most children should have an orthodontic consultation at our Hamilton, ON orthodontic office by age seven. At this age, Dr. Gaik will be able to find congenital dental problems such as missing or extra teeth and atypical growth patterns. Treatments directed at controlling or redirecting unusual growth patterns can often prevent the need for jaw surgery later in life. Early orthodontic intervention can also help the bite develop better, decreasing the amount or length of orthodontic treatment needed as a teenager.
Orthodontic treatment is generally categorized into two stages: Phase I and Phase II.
Phase I occurs when a child is between age seven and the early teenage years, when the jaw is still developing. It is geared towards improving the development of the teeth and bite and directing growth of the jaws. It sets the stage for the teeth to erupt into a better position.
Phase II occurs during the teenage years or later. It is aimed at aligning the teeth into their ideal positions and creating a beautiful, straight smile.
Does your child need orthodontic treatment?
While it may not be necessary for your child to undergo early orthodontic treatment, there are a few warning signs that treatment may be needed:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb-sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
Of course, the best way to learn about your child’s orthodontic health is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gaik at our Hamilton orthodontic office. We will work with you and your child to determine the right course of action for your child’s needs and goals of a beautiful smile.