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Orthodontic treatments for children & adolescents

Orthodontics is a stream of dentistry which focuses on enhancing the position, appearance and function of abnormally arranged or crooked teeth. The term ‘orthodontics’ has originated from a Greek word which means “to straighten teeth”. Orthodontic treatments are possible at any age. But, best results can be yielded at the young age before the face and jaws get completely grown. The timing of orthodontic treatments can be divided into two phases considering the age group. Early treatment includes:

  • Children with 6 months to 3 years
  • Children with 5 to 8 years   
  • Children with 9 to 14 years  
  • Children with 15 to 18 years

The second phase is called adult treatment. It includes the treatment of adults. According to the American Dental Association, you should begin the dental check-up of your child at the age of two. The 20 primary teeth grow in during the time period of 6 months to 3 years. During this period, the child should learn good oral habits. The orthodontist may evaluate the loss of teeth, missing teeth, cross-bite or sucking habits and also suggest using some orthodontic appliances or any complicated treatment during the period of five to six years. The dentist will not recommend any complicated treatment during this age.

The first 8 primary teeth are lost during the age of five to eight. It is called Phase I. The first stage orthodontic treatments are started during this stage. They are done especially to correct spacing, crowding, crossbites, jaw growth discrepancies and overbites. The common appliances used during this period are partial braces and other removable appliances. During this period, the orthodontist will check and work to prevent other problems that can occur in the future.

Finalizing the occlusions is the main goal of Phase II. Children from the age of nine to fourteen will come under Phase II. This is the stage when they lose the other 12 teeth. During this stage, the dentist may recommend brace treatment.

The final stage before beginning the adult treatment is from the age 15 to 18. The wisdom teeth develop during this period. Jaw growth development will be monitored during this period. Wisdom tooth impaction surgeries are also common in this phase.

Main orthodontic treatments for adults may include brace treatment. Adult treatment is not much complex when compared to that of the children. They are grown up people and do not require much attention. They will be able to manage their things on their own. Brace treatments are chosen more by adults for aesthetic enhancement.

If cared properly from the childhood itself, you may not have to have much-complicated treatments in the future. But still, problems can occur at any age and sometimes, it cannot be detected early.

Authored By Dr. Vinamra Dhariwal - Dentist, Chennai

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