How old should my child be to see the orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends you schedule your child’s first orthodontic treatment by the age of 7. By this time, Dr. Peikidis can evaluate the development of your child’s permanent teeth and the growth of the supporting jaw and facial bones, giving her enough information to recognize any potential issues that would make your child a candidate for interceptive treatment. Of course, every child is different depending on when your child begins to lose baby teeth, develop permanent teeth, and the number of permanent teeth they have at the time of the initial consultation can affect when interceptive treatment is considered a viable option. If you’re not sure whether it’s the right time for your child to see an orthodontist, schedule an appointment anyway. Prevention is the best treatment, and getting ahead of the game can save your child and you from more extensive and costly treatments down the line.

What can I expect from my child’s first orthodontic visit?

Having experienced early orthodontic treatment herself, Dr. Peikidis is understanding of the anxiety some children may have about their first visit. Her calm and soothing nature ensures that the experience will be a relaxing and confidence-building one for your child. Your first appointment will be an educational and honest assessment of what she can do for your child. Typically, an initial appointment will lead to one of three outcomes:

  • Not enough of your child’s permanent teeth have come in to make a conclusive decision on whether treatment is a viable option. She will recommend another assessment after more teeth have come in or the facial bones have grown more.
  • There is an identifiable issue that can be successfully addressed with interceptive treatment.
  • There are no identifiable issues that would qualify your child for interceptive treatment.

Dr. Peikidis truly has your child’s best interests at heart when performing her assessment. She will always provide an honest and educational assessment of your child’s orthodontic health and do everything she can to help. You can breathe easy knowing she will never pressure you or your child to commit to a treatment path. Her goal is to help your child achieve the best outcome for their long-term health and self-confidence.

What can be treated by interceptive treatment?

Dr. Peikidis knows that orthodontic treatment can be stressful for parents and kids. The good news is that there is a wide range of issues that can be identified and treated early on. This early treatment is intended to minimize the stress, length and depth of treatment, and the overall cost in the long run. Interceptive treatment may be in your child’s best interest if Dr. Peikidis identifies one or more conditions that can cause serious issues when left untreated. Interceptive treatments are available for issues including:

  • Impacted teeth
  • Too many teeth or missing teeth
  • Protruding teeth at risk for trauma
  • Teeth that are either very crowded or widely spaced
  • Bite alignment issues including overbite, underbite, and cross bites
  • Thumb or pacifier sucking habits that can have consequences for tooth and jawbone formation

Interceptive treatment is the first step in your child’s orthodontic treatment if any is needed. The goal with early intervention is to address issues before they can become more serious, saving your child from more significant treatment when they are older. In some cases, it can even prevent the need for braces later in life!

Though it is common for a second round of treatment with braces to be required to move your child’s permanent teeth into the optimal position, early treatment sets the foundation for a beautiful and healthy smile. The good news is that this second round of treatment is typically less intrusive, less expensive, and takes less time than it would without having had the interceptive orthodontic treatment.

What are some examples of interceptive treatments?

So, what are the early or preventative treatments that can be done? Some common treatments Dr. Peikidis prescribes and performs include:

Jaw expansion

If Dr. Peikidis thinks jaw expansion is appropriate, she will place a palatal expander to correct a cross bite and to create space for adult teeth.

Maintaining space

Your Bellmore orthodontist may install space maintainers to ensure adequate space remains for incoming adult teeth.

Making space

If a gap remains where baby teeth have fallen out, existing teeth may move to fill the space, blocking the path for incoming adult teeth.

Sucking cessation

Dr. Peikidis can help your child stop this habit. Thumb or pacifier sucking can have consequences for tooth and jaw development.

Protrusion reduction

This involves reducing the degree to which teeth protrude outwards, reducing risk of damage to the tooth (fracturing and cracking) as well as damage to the soft tissues of the mouth.

Limited tooth removal

Limited tooth removal is the conservative and targeted removal of baby teeth that are over-retained or at risk for affecting incoming permanent teeth.

By performing these treatments early, Dr. Peikidis can achieve better health outcomes, and reduce the need for more intrusive treatments later in life. Every child and every case is unique. Dr. Peikidis will use her expertise to ensure your child receives the best possible outcome while minimizing any discomfort.

What are the benefits of interceptive treatment in Bellmore, NY?

While it may seem like a big undertaking for some, the truth is, early orthodontic treatment can save you and your child from  more complex treatments in the future. Interceptive treatment truly can save you stress, money, and time, but that’s not all. Some other benefits of early treatment include:

  • Increased jaw, tooth, and gum health
  • A lower chance of your child developing speech or bite/chewing issues
  • Monitoring the growth of jaw and facial bones, allowing any issues to be caught early
  • Oral hygiene is made easier, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease and improving overall oral health
  • Ensures adequate space for permanent teeth in your child’s smile, preventing crowding and its complications
  • Treating issues early, while growth can be corrected and directed, reduces the chances for the need of serious medical and surgical interventions later

Are you ready to set your child up for success?

If you believe your child may be experiencing issues that could be reduced by interceptive treatment, contact Peikidis Orthodontics in Bellmore, New York today! Setting your child up for great oral health, a beautiful smile, and unstoppable self-confidence starts with an early orthodontic assessment!