Early Orthodontics for Children in Walnut Creek
The proper development of your child's smile is vital for lifelong oral health and happiness. When dental issues arise early on, taking a proactive approach can protect dental function and beauty now and in the future. At Shadelands Pediatric Dentistry, we provide early orthodontic treatment for children. We can identify potential concerns, address current issues, and prevent future complications.
Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Melissa Lopez, and her associate, Dr. Judyth Lee, believe in providing comprehensive treatment options with compassion. By doing so, we can ensure that kids of all ages can receive the essential care they need in a respectful, positive, and comfortable environment. We proudly serve children across Walnut Creek. Contact us to schedule an orthodontic consultation for your child today!
CALL US: (925) 930-9390 REQUEST APPOINTMENT
What Is Pediatric Orthodontics?
Early treatment, also commonly known as Phase I orthodontics, typically begins around age seven. Depending on your child's needs, however, care can start earlier. Pediatric orthodontic treatment often involves a Phase II, beginning around age eleven.
The purpose of early orthodontic care is to correct jaw, bite, and dental alignment issues and encourage optimal development. Early intervention makes room for permanent adult teeth to emerge correctly and reduces the need for extensive treatment in the future.
With early treatment, our pediatric dentist can correct common orthodontic issues as well as:
- Guide proper jaw growth and dental development
- Address harmful oral habits
- Achieve straighter, healthier teeth
- Reduce or eliminate biting, chewing, and speaking complications
- Improve the appearance of teeth and facial features
While your child could benefit from orthodontic care later, early intervention is necessary if development is heading in the wrong direction.
Early treatment uses innovative techniques and orthodontic appliances to help your child achieve healthy alignment. After the first phase of treatment, there is a resting period, followed by the second phase, which finalizes care.
How Will I Know If My Child Needs Early Treatment?
If your child's teeth are noticeably crooked and crowded by age seven or younger, they will likely require early orthodontic treatment. However, the signs may not always be so obvious.
Sometimes, misalignment you can see may not be severe. Other times, your child's smile may have little to no noticeable issues, but may need intervention. This is why it's essential to schedule an orthodontic examination with our skilled pediatric dentist.
The most important thing is determining if misalignment is negatively impacting your child's health. Teeth that do not meet together correctly, unusual jaw movement, or a crooked jaw, can develop into serious issues.
If you notice anything that concerns you, don't hesitate to bring your child in for an evaluation. It's better to be proactive than to wait until mild problems develop into severe concerns.
Phase I Orthodontics for Foundational Strength
Phase I orthodontics is essential for creating a strong foundation for further development. Correct alignment can accommodate new adult teeth, encourage proper growth, and promote successful and lasting treatment results.
Early intervention can prevent the need for extractions or surgery. When planning treatment, Dr. Lopez works closely with you to determine the most effective treatments for improving dental alignment and jaw development.
Since children are still growing, there is time to guide growth. Our pediatric dentist uses various dental appliances during this treatment phase. Depending on your child's needs, these can include the following:
- Specialized retainers
- Limited phase of braces (selected teeth)
- Space maintainers
- Functional appliances
- Expansion appliances
Promoting Healthy & Natural Development
Once Phase I of their orthodontic treatment is complete, a rest period should follow. It's essential to give your child's permanent adult teeth time to emerge correctly and naturally. Your child may still need to wear a retainer or other appliance during the resting phase. During this time we need to monitor your child through frequent checkups.
Phase II Orthodontics for Completing Alignment
Once adult teeth have fully emerged, it's time for the second phase of your child's orthodontic treatment. This stage involves customizing treatment to ensure optimal and lasting dental alignment. Phase II usually begins at age 11 or 12, and lasts up to four years.
Phase II orthodontics focuses on creating and maintaining alignment, spacing, and function. This is often done with braces; however, the type of appliance and treatment time depends on your child's unique needs.
Promote Dental Health & Happiness for Your Child Today!
At Shadelands Pediatric Dentistry, we understand the valuable role a straighter, healthier smile can have in your child's life. Dr. Melissa Lopez uses her pediatric dentistry expertise and innovative orthodontic treatment to help children like yours achieve their best smiles. Contact our Walnut Creek pediatric dental office to schedule a visit today!
CALL US: (925) 930-9390 REQUEST APPOINTMENT