The Kid’s Place Early Orthodontic Treatment
Interceptive (Early) Orthodontic Treatment
Interceptive Orthodontic treatment is intended for the growing child at a much younger age than for traditional braces. The old adage of waiting until all the baby teeth fall out is no longer valid. Better results can often be attained by addressing early crowding and monitoring facial growth. Most parents do not realize that mode of breathing (ie through the nose vs mouth breathing) is the significant driver for facial growth direction, and is also related to dental crowding. The proper mode of breathing is primarily through the nose and results in a better balanced face and profile, broader arches and straighter teeth. Mouth breathing will result in a more vertical facial growth pattern, more narrow arches, and more dental crowding. Identifying areas of concern early allows us to coordinate care with other medical specialists, to help direct facial growth, and reduce dental crowding in the permanent dentition. In the end, your child will have an attractive face and a broad beautiful smile.
Waiting for all the baby teeth to be lost may not be the best option for your child. It is recommended by the American Orthodontic Association that children should be evaluated by age 7. Children from from first to third grade are prime candidates for early orthodontic intervention as their faces are rapidly growing. By the time traditional braces are placed when permanent teeth are in, the face has limited growth into adulthood. Thus, there are less options for treatment when there is more severe crowding, often leading to loss pristine permanent teeth to make the room or prolonged treatment times. Bones and teeth in younger children have a more rapid response to treatment and early interceptive treatment can sometimes eliminate future braces.
Orthodontic Arch Development
At birth the head is roughly 1/3 our body length and rapidly grows as we progress to adulthood. Somatic or body growth typically lags behind. Since the head face and jaws are rapidly growing when we are younger, and slow down as we get older, it makes sense to address concerns during the period of active, rapid growth. At age six 40%-60% of facial growth is completed. At age 12 90% of facial growth is completed. Orthopedic arch development can often make room for the permanent teeth eliminating extensive treatment times later, and will reduce or eliminate the removal of permanent teeth that so often occurs when children undergo orthodontic treatment at a later age. In addition, arch development can improve your child’s ability to breath, and breath through the nose. Nasal breathing is the key to a well balanced face. Although not every child will require this type of early treatment, it is important to have them screened by a knowledgeable dentist at an early age. You don’t want to miss an opportunity that would benefit your child, their face, or their smile!
If you are concerned about the way your child’s teeth are coming in, we can help. If your child is self-conscious about smiling, having braces can greatly improve the way he or she looks and feels.
When treatment is complete, your child will have an amazing, healthy smile, as well as the confidence to show it off! We want you and your child to feel comfortable and confident throughout the entire orthodontic experience, so our practice is dedicated to making sure that your child receives the quality care they deserve.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Orthodontic appliances are made to move teeth into better positions for health, proper function, and a beautiful smile. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to the proper position.
Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. Orthodontic patients can have brackets that are bonded directly to the teeth, Wires are far less noticeable, and the latest materials are designed to move teeth faster with more comfort.
Duration of Treatment
Depending on several factors, including age, treatment method, and how minor or severe your child’s case is, treatment time varies and can last between one and three years. Receiving interceptive, or early treatment, can also help provide a quicker treatment time later on in life. Another big factor to a successful treatment is your child’s cooperation. The more involved and diligent your child is, the quicker and more efficient treatment will be.
Before beginning your child’s orthodontic care, our doctor will discuss all of your child’s options and provide an estimate for how long full treatment may take. Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment and learn more about orthodontics and the treatments we provide.
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten teeth by using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, there is the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.
Children with moderate to severe dental crowding will benefit from interceptive or early orthodontic treatment. Parents usually notice crowding when the lower front permanent teeth first appear around age 6 years. Orthodontic assessments need to be completed early because this represents the most rapid period of change in the child’s facial and dental development. At the kid’s place we evaluate when permanent teeth should be coming in, if they are crowded, when they are delayed, and when they are coming in out of position. By recognizing and addressing problems early, we can often eliminate future extractions of permanent teeth, improve overall health and function of the mouth, and help give your child a beautiful smile.
Dentofacial Orthopedics (Dental Arch Development)
In the traditional model of orthodontic care, braces are delivered after all or at least most of the permanent teeth are in the mouth. Thus, most kids get braces in their late childhood or early teen years. At this age the majority of facial growth (90%) has occurred and options to deal with crowded teeth have become more limited. Dental crowding, on the other hand, starts early with the eruption of the first permanent teeth around age 6 years. Waiting 5 to 7 years to address dental crowding problems, which get considerably worse over time, is not efficient. In fact, later treatment can lead to compromise in facial growth and esthetics, compromise in health, loss of permanent teeth, or even more extensive and expensive treatments. At the kid’s place we focus on treating dental crowding early, when the face has a larger growth potential. Guiding the dental arches back to normal dimensions will allow room for the permanent to come in uncrowded. will assist in correct muscle and tongue function, and even improve nasal breathing.
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s teeth, contact Dr. Wilkerson for a complimentary orthodontic screening. Dr. Wilkerson will take scans and do a clinical evaluation on your child’s teeth and bite. If treatment is recommended, he’ll provide treatment options and an estimate for how long it may take. To schedule an orthodontic screening, contact us using our online appointment request or call (830) 239-5411 during office hours.
Super friendly staff. Our daughter is 11 months old and had her first cleaning. They were very informative and did their best to make all of us comfortable. Glad we picked them to care for our daughter’s teeth.
We love The Kid’s Place!! Dr. Wilkerson and staff were SO amazing with all my little ones and made it such a fun experience! They are the best, 10/10 would recommend!!
Thank you to the staff, Hygienist Lacey, and Dr. Wilkerson. My three year old needed a thorough dental assessment and she loved it. The Kids Place gave me great care, peace of mind, and reassurance in my daughters dental care. Thank you!
We loved our experience with Dr. Wilkerson, Lacy, and Cassandra. They were very patient, fun, and awesome with my kiddos! We are new to Boerne and very grateful to have found The Kid’s Place!
Scheduling was simple, efficient and straightforward. We were seen quickly after calling for an appointment. The office staff sent portal information via email as promised. The facility is immaculate and welcoming. My son was happy to be there from the moment we walked through the door. The staff was friendly, personable and organized. The doctor was compassionate, informative and thorough. Appointment was on schedule, so no unnecessary toddler squirminess! I was not rushed and all of my questions were answered.
I’m so glad we found Dr. Wilkerson. He and his staff have been great! It says a lot when your 4-year old goes in to get two caps and is excitedly asking if he can go back to the dentist tomorrow!