Orthodontic treatment in children
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that deals with the correction of tooth alignment and occlusion.
Orthodontic treatment in children is important not only for improving physical appearance but also for improving general oral health. In this article, we will discuss the importance of orthodontic treatment in children, its benefits and the most common types of orthodontic appliances used in children.
The importance of orthodontic treatment in children
Some children are born with good occlusion and well-aligned teeth, but many children need orthodontic treatment.
Usually the problem is hereditary, but it can also be caused by habits such as thumb sucking or pacifier use.
Improper occlusion can lead to oral health problems such as tooth decay, gingivitis and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems. In addition, improper occlusion can lead to speech and breathing problems.
Benefits of orthodontic treatment in children
Orthodontic treatment in children can have a number of benefits, including:
Improved oral health: orthodontic treatment can help prevent tooth decay and gingivitis by correcting the alignment of teeth.
Improved aesthetics: Orthodontic treatment can help improve physical appearance by correcting the smile and occlusion.
Improved function: Orthodontic treatment can help improve chewing, breathing and speech function.
Types of orthodontic appliances used in children
There are several types of orthodontic appliances used in children, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common types of orthodontic appliances used in children include:
Dental brackets: Dental brackets are the most common orthodontic appliances used in children. They consist of a series of brackets and rings that are attached to the teeth and connected by a metal spring. Dental brackets can be used to correct a wide range of orthodontic problems, such as overlapping teeth and improper occlusion.
Dental Rings: Dental rings are orthodontic devices used to correct malocclusion and help separate teeth. They are usually made of a metal material and are attached to the teeth with elastic bands.
Mobile braces: Mobile braces are orthodontic devices that can be removed from the mouth. They are used to correct minor problems of tooth alignment and malocclusion. They are usually made of a clear plastic material.
Invisible braces: Invisible braces are orthodontic devices that are invisible and can be removed from the mouth. They are used to correct minor problems of tooth alignment and malocclusion. They are usually made of a clear plastic material and are easy to clean and maintain.
Lingual braces: Lingual braces are orthodontic devices that are attached to the inside of the teeth. They are used to correct malocclusion and misalignment of teeth without affecting the physical appearance. Lingual braces are also invisible and can be used at any age.
When temporary teeth are erupting or being replaced by permanent teeth, anomalies in position, shape or order of eruption may be noticed.
If the caregivers can notice mainly anomalies of position, reporting overlapping or rotating teeth, the dentist can intercept the other types of tooth eruption discrepancies, instituting early treatment.
Orthodontic treatment in children can start as early as 6-7 years of age, depending on the dental status and the anomaly present. At this time, the teeth are still erupting and more importantly, the jaws are still developing.
By imprinting good growth directions on the jaws, a number of anomalies can be corrected or at least improved until the child is age-ready to be treated with fixed orthodontic appliances.
When are braces recommended?
It is not always justified to start orthodontic treatment at this age, favorable situations are as follows:
Crossbite: normally, the teeth of the upper arch circumscribe those of the lower arch when the patient bites. Crossbite, also known in the literature as crossbite, involves the presence of lower teeth circumscribing the upper teeth at the time of occlusion. This is mainly due to the small size of the upper jaw. Mastication may be affected, and non-physiological forces transmitted to the periodontium may over time imprint pain on the temporomandibular arch. Orthodontic treatment at this stage is aimed at expanding the upper jaw and aligning the arches with a removable appliance. The fixed appliance will complement the previous treatment only when all the permanent teeth have erupted.
Protrusion of the front teeth: the upper front teeth are in a much anterior position to the lower front teeth, so the two arches are not in contact. Also, the lower lip may be sucked into the existing interarch space, aggravating the patient’s physiognomy. Protrusion of the upper front teeth may occur when the small patient breathes through the mouth or sucks his thumb for a long period of time. By placing a removable orthodontic appliance as the first stage of treatment, one can reduce the protrusion of the upper teeth but also correct the vicious habit of thumb sucking.
Early intervention has many advantages precisely because the child’s jaws are growing.
The wearing time of fixed orthodontic appliances in adolescence is considerably reduced by starting treatment during the eruptive period.
Movable braces are also becoming more and more aesthetically attractive for children. They are increasingly comfortable and come in a variety of colors and shapes to suit the wearer.
But parents need to make sure that their little ones are effectively cleaning their oral cavity.
In addition to normal tooth brushing, following the instructions given by the doctor, the patient should also ensure that the mobile orthodontic appliance is cleaned by brushing with another toothbrush, toothpaste or soapy water. When the mobile appliance is removed, it should be washed, dried and stored in a dry place.
A specialist check-up at the dentist’s surgery is recommended every 6 months.
The dentist will evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment but will also point out problems that need to be corrected.
Orthodontic treatment in children is important for improving oral health and appearance. It can help prevent oral health problems and improve chewing function, breathing and speech. There are several types of orthodontic appliances available for children, and the choice depends on the specific orthodontic problem and the preferences of the patient and parents. It is important to consult an orthodontist before starting orthodontic treatment to determine the best treatment plan and to achieve the best possible results.