Pediatric Orthodontist on the Upper West Side
While it’s true that adolescence is the most common time to wear braces – with many parents starting savings accounts in anticipation of treatment at age 11 or 12 –the reality is your child should see an orthodontist far earlier than that.
How early? The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child should be evaluated by an orthodontist around the age of 7.
Crafting a Better Smile, Earlier
The younger your child is when you orthodontic issues are discovered, the easier the problem is to correct due to the softer tissues in the mouth. For instance, 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.
Treatment during the late elementary school years can also benefit many orthodontic issues like certain bite problems, which are easier to correct at this age group. Our pediatric orthodontist 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.
How Pediatric Treatment Helps Your Child
There are certain cases in which 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. Addressing issues like this early can also help improve your child’s self-confidence, providing them with a beaming smile as they go into the sensitive early adolescent years.
In other 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. So, when their permanent teeth do erupt, we can anticipate that they will follow the same pattern.
Another common treatment in this age group is dentofacial orthopedics. For instance, our pediatric orthodontist may recommend 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 Headgears, which were external appliances used to influence the growth of the lower jaw, have to a great extent been replaced by smaller appliances placed within the mouth, such as the Herbst and MARA appliances.
Orthodontic Treatment in Later Years
Early pediatric treatment is normally not the only phase of orthodontic treatment. While 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 Invisalign. The good news is because of the early treatment, the adolescent phase of treatment may be shorter for patients, and the final results are better.
5-Star Orthodontic Care with Our Pediatric Orthodontist On the Upper West Side
If your child is age 7 or older, then he or she needs an evaluation by our Upper West Side orthodontist to determine whether early interceptive treatment would be beneficial. Dr. George Pliakas is the best choice for an orthodontist in the Upper West Side. 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.