Pediatric Orthodontist in Manhattan, NY
Most parents are aware that adolescence is the most common time to wear braces. Many may have even started a savings account or prepared in other ways for their child to start orthodontic treatment around age 11 or 12.
What many parents don’t realize is that their child should actually see an orthodontist far earlier than that. How early? According to the American Association of Orthodontists, every child should be evaluated by an orthodontist around age 7.
Early Treatment for a Better Smile
Childhood habits, like thumb sucking and tongue pushing, can influence the development of your child’s smile. Early evaluation and treatment under our orthodontist’s guidance can empower parents and children to change these habits and help develop a better smile in the future.
Early treatment in the late elementary school years can also benefit many orthodontic issues such as certain types of bite problems, which are easier to correct at this age group. We can also guide the growth of the jaw and facial bones more easily in order to create enough room for all of the teeth at this age. In addition, front teeth that protrude have a higher risk of being damaged during normal childhood play. Braces can help move the teeth into the correct position, reducing the risk of permanent damage to these critically important teeth.
Types of Pediatric Treatment
In certain cases, braces are placed during early treatment, most commonly on the front teeth (which are permanent by this age), and can help to correct bite problems or protrusion of the teeth. Fixing issues like this early can also help to boost your child’s self-confidence. He or she can face the sensitive early adolescent years with a radiant smile.
In some cases, braces may also be used on the deciduous teeth (the “baby teeth”) to create a healthy alignment of the spaces for the permanent teeth. This way, when the permanent teeth do erupt, we can anticipate that they will follow the same pattern.
Another common treatment in this age group is dentofacial orthopedics. An example of this type of treatment is the use of a palatal expander (“palate expander”), which is designed to influence the growth of the upper jaw. Headgears, which were external appliances used to influence the growth of the lower jaw, have largely been replaced by smaller appliances placed within the mouth, such as the Herbst and MARA appliances.
Later Orthodontic Treatment
Early treatment is normally not the only phase of orthodontic treatment. Its goals are to make later treatment faster and to optimize the final result of a perfect smile. Achieving this requires a second phase of treatment during adolescence, which consists of braces or, in some cases, Invisalign. The good news is because of the early treatment, the adolescent phase of treatment is shorter for many patients, and the final results are better.
5-Star Orthodontic Care with Our Pediatric Orthodontist in Manhattan, NY
If your child is age 7 or older, then he or she needs an evaluation by our NYC orthodontist to determine whether early interceptive treatment would be beneficial. Dr. George Pliakas is the best choice for an orthodontist in NYC. Having trained in some of the top programs in the country, Dr. Pliakas specializes in both pediatric orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, allowing him to provide your child with all modes of treatment to achieve the ideal result. Dr. Pliakas has treated patients of all ages and takes particular care to put his youngest patients at their ease.
Don’t miss the window for optimal treatment of your child’s smile. Call our office or book your appointment online, so you can get a professional evaluation for your child.