Orthodontic Problems

Problems facing young children, growing children, and adults.

Healdsburg Orthodontics provides information about the common orthodontic problems facing young children, growing children/teenagers, and adults.

Problems in Children

The posterior occlusion is established when the first molars erupt. At that time, one can evaluate the anteroposterior and transverse relationships of the occlusion as well as discover any functional shifts or crossbites.

Incisors have begun to erupt and problems can be detected such as crowding, habits, deep bites, open bites and some jaw discrepancies.

For some a timely evaluation will lead to significant treatment benefits; for others, the principal immediate benefit is a parent’s peace of mind.

The American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends a first exam with the orthodontist at age 7 years old. Timing is everything, especially when it comes to your child’s orthodontic treatment. Early orthodontic exams, as the face and jaws are developing, allows the orthodontist to advise you on whether treatment is recommended to guide the teeth in or expand the jaw to allow the teeth to erupt properly. If early treatment is not recommended, then observing young children annually can help us make the best decisions on timing for the future.

Final treatment decisions should be made among the parent, child’s dentist and orthodontist.

Problems in Growing Children

Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth or emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.

While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.

A check up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine. Or, the orthodontist may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring the child’s growth and development, and then, if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time for the child.

In other cases, the orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.
Early treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing and may make treatmnet a ta later age shorter and less complicated. In some cases, the orthodontist may be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.

Early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to:

  • Guide jaw growth
  • Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
  • Correct harmful oral habits
  • Improve appearance
  • Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
  • Create a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips and face

Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you’ll be giving your child an opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile.

If your child is older than 7, it’s certainly not too late for a check up.

Because patients differ in both physiological development and treatment needs, the orthodontist’s goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.

Problems in Adults

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends treatment for adults, when appropriate, in conjunction with regular dental care.

Treatment in adults is important because it:

  • Can help prevent or improve periodontal problems
  • Can help prevent or reduce further bone loss around teeth
  • Improves ability of the dentist to restore missing teeth
  • Improves aesthetics for a better smile and facial appearance
  • Improves function of teeth
  • Improves self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Improves oral health