Turó Park Dental and Medical Center: Your Children’s Barcelona Orthodontist
Dentists and Orthodontists use the term Mixed Dentition to describe the time when children have both “baby teeth” or “milk teeth” and permanent “adult teeth.” Children between the ages of 6 and 11 years old typically have mixed dentition.
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Why does my child need orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a special branch of dentistry that repositions teeth and jaws using braces and other devices. The purpose of orthodontics is to create a healthy bite with alignment of the teeth and jaws. With the right bite and alignment, your children will be better able to bite, chew, breathe, and speak clearly. Your children will also have have healthier teeth (fewer cavities) and a more attractive smile.
At what age should my child see an orthodontist?
Most dentists recommend that children around the age of 7 see an orthodontist for an initial evaluation. This is the average age when the permanent teeth at the front of the mouth have grown in. During this visit, the orthodontist will look for any of the following problems:
- Locked teeth that can obstruct correct growth of the jaw
- Habits that lead to crooked teeth or bite problems such as tongue-thrusting, mouth-breathing or thumb-sucking.
- Space between the upper and lower jaws
- Front teeth that do not touch
- A difference in width between upper and lower jaws
- Upper front teeth that touch behind front bottom teeth (underbite)
- Permanent teeth growing in crooked and limiting available space for other teeth
Orthodontists and dentists now recommend two phases orthodontics for some children with the conditions listed above. During this 1st phase, between the ages of 6-12, orthodontists work to fix problems in the jaw (skeletal problems), because as children grow older, their jaw size and alignment becomes fixed.
This does not mean that it is too late if your child is older than 7 years old. If your child is older than 7, it is not too late for a check-up or to start orthodontics. Many patients begin treatment between the ages of 9 and 16, depending on their physiological development and treatment needs.
Why not wait for braces until my child has all of their permanent teeth?
Trying to fix jaw problems at older ages is much more expensive, requires longer treatment, and may be less successful. Using orthodontics at an early age when the jaw is still growing allows the orthodontist to use growth to correct jaw imbalances without the need for surgery. For most people, after the permanent (12 year) molars come in, there is even less space available for the front teeth. Untreated problems may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, broken front teeth and loss of bone tissue that holds teeth in place.
The goal is to detect any problems which could worsen over time and to identify any habits causing tooth or bite problems. An earlier visit to Turó Park's orthodontist may eliminate the need for, or at the very least simplify later orthodontic treatments. Your child may not get braces immediately after their first visit to an orthodontist. Many times a “wait-and-see” approach makes the most sense: checking in with the orthodontist every 6 months- 1 year to monitor jaw growth and how teeth are coming in to wait for the time when orthodontics will be most effective.
How do I know whether or not my child will need orthodontics again at a later age?
Once a child has their full set of adult teeth, orthodontists will monitor tooth alignment and wait for the emergence of wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that all permanent teeth will grow in properly, even after completing a first stage of orthodontics at a younger age. Earlier orthodontics WILL make any future orthodontics for adult teeth simpler, faster and less expensive.
We invite you and your children to come to Turó Park Dental and Medical Center in Barcelona’s zona alta district for an orthodontic consultation when they are around the age of seven. At this visit our expert child orthodontist will examine, assess, and make a personal treatment plan for your child. Do not hesitate to contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (+34 932 529 729), if you need more information. Our English-speaking medical staff and orthodontist look forward to answering any questions you might have.
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