Is your son or daughter in elementary school and is exhibiting some dental issues, particularly orthodontic issues? Does he or she have severely crooked teeth? Do you notice that he or she has a pretty severe overbite (also called an overjet)?
Orthodontic problems are very common for elementary school kids. But just know that you’re in the right place when you choose Dental Town!
In this article we’ll talk about the best braces for elementary school kids. So join us!
Starting orthodontic treatment in elementary school—is it the best thing to do?
Well, yes, if your child is exhibiting orthodontic problems early on in life, take him or her to see the orthodontist. There are a few orthodontic conditions that are much easier to correct when kids are 7-10 years old (as opposed to waiting until they’re older to start orthodontic treatment).
The bottom line: early treatment (called two-phase treatment) is most effective for achieving lasting results. To learn more about two-phase treatment, visit this webpage.
Types of orthodontic appliances used during Phase I (of two-phase treatment)
During the first phase of treatment, orthodontic appliances are typically used. The first phase starts when a child is 7-10 years old. The first phase of treatment can last anywhere between 6-18 months.
During this phase, any of the following orthodontic appliances may be used:
- palatal expander
- Herbst appliance
- Nance appliance
- lingual holding arch
- Halterman appliance
- transpalatal arch
- habit appliance
After Phase I treatment and the resting period, Phase II orthodontic treatment starts after all permanent teeth have erupted (usually when a child is 12-13 years old). Once braces are removed and the results are achieved, retainers help to maintain all results.
So as you can see from the extensive list of orthodontic appliances above, there cannot be one BEST type of braces for elementary school kids. Every child is different. Every child’s dental conditions are different.
So what works for Little Johnny when he’s in 6th grade might not be the best solution for Little Tiffany in 4th grade.
With that said, we’d like to end this article with an example.
Consider Ava— a fourth grader who has crowded teeth in the upper jaw AND has a small upper jaw. Her parents know that crowded teeth and a small upper jaw aren’t good things. They also know that both problems should be corrected.
So what do Ava’s parents do?
They take Ava to an orthodontist. The orthodontist meets Ava and fully evaluates her dental condition.
For Ava, the best braces option in her elementary school years isn’t necessarily metal braces or clear braces. No, she’s simply not at that phase of orthodontic treatment yet.
Instead, her orthodontist recommends a palatal expander for Ava. Ava will wear the palatal expander for a length of time during her fourth grade year of school. The palatal expander will widen or expand her upper jaw, which needs to happen first before any other type of orthodontic treatment can begin (she’ll need some type of braces during Phase II treatment to straighten her crowded teeth).
So now you can see that there isn’t a BEST braces option for elementary school kids. It simply all depends on what is best for YOUR child.
For contact information for each pediatric dentistry office, go to this page and click on the city that’s nearest to your home.
We look forward to meeting you and your family at your first visit!