Select Page

 Most kids need braces and it is a matter of when?


average kids get braces


Most kids will benefit from some form of orthodontic treatment between the ages of 6 and 11. The most popular age to start braces is 8-9 years of age. When and how much orthodontic treatment depends on how natural jaw and facial development progresses. If your child has a very small mouth and lots of teeth crowding, they will need lots of help and they will need orthodontic treatment at an earlier age. If a child’s jaw structure grows to be the right size and shape, usually the teeth will have plenty of room to grow into the proper places and spaces.


The human head has been shrinking for over 500 years


The reality is most kids are not growing enough in the mouth and nose areas. This happens due to soft diets, genetics and developmental factors. Expanders are appliances that help the jaws to grow larger. when they are under developing. There are many different kinds of kids expanders depending on the size and shape of the teeth and jaws. The needs of each kid is highly variable. Unfortunately human jaws and face have been shrinking generation after generation due to cooked foods, softer diets and processed foods. We are not cave people anymore.

Most kids will need a combination of braces and expansion. We use a protocol called holistic orthodontics where the goal is to not only straighten teeth, but create a nice facial profile and the conditions for proper nasal breathing, posture and a balanced bite.


YouTube video


Expanders Should be Used Before Braces


Orthodontic expanders help the jaws grow to be large enough for all the teeth to fit. If there is not enough space, it is very difficult to achieve a good orthodontic result. Often space is created with braces by dragging the teeth further back into the mouth. Plain and simple,  if there is not enough space for all the teeth to fit, braces will pull teeth back and squish them into an unstable place. Even with retainers, they will not stay straight into adulthood.


Forward Growth Expanders and Holistic Orthodontics


ALF Appliance

ALF Palatal Expander


What is Holistic Orthodontics?


Holistic orthodontic therapy focuses on straightening teeth, bite balance and healthy nasal breathing patterns. Expanders help the jaws grow to be the right size a shape, so the teeth will fit into the correct places and so the bite will be balanced. Use of expanders and releasing any tongue and lip ties will stimulate proper jaw and facial development. The tongue is the natural expander, but it cannot expand the palate properly when it is tied down. The goal is to get the jaws to grow to be the right size and shape. After expanders, straightening teeth is a much simpler undertaking.


Orthodontic Expanders are Anterior Facial Growth Appliances


Expanders including the ALF appliance use light and natural forces such as the tongue. The are many different kinds of expanders that work well for kids. The ALF is an example of a palatal expander. If Expansion is initiated at the right time, a child may never need braces. If you notice your child getting crowded teeth, you should see us for a consult immediately. Crowding of the teeth is a major sign of under development. By the time crowding has occurred, the child has a developmental problem that is more difficult to treat.


Other Holistic Orthodontic Expanders:


  1. Schwarz Expander
  2. Twin Block
  3. Crozat
  4. Myobrace


Adult Forward Growth Appliances:


  1. DNA Appliance
  2. Homeoblock Appliance
  3. ALF Appliance


What is the goal of Orthodontics?


Dental braces aims at improving your facial profile and smile makeover as well as daily functional demands of chewing and biting food. Crowded, mal-aligned and crooked teeth cause serious functional and cosmetic concerns especially in growing children and adolescents. Loss of self-esteem and confidence due to unsightly appearance of front teeth can seriously damages the personality development and growth of children in their teenage. Baby teeth come erupt in the mouth of infants around an age of 6 months and function up to 6 years of age. The first permanent tooth comes in the mouth around the sixth birthday of your child.


Kids Grow the Fastest in the Mixed Dentition


An age range of 6-12 years is known as the mixed dentition period where baby teeth and permanent teeth both are present in the mouth. This time period is usually characterized by dental development as well as general body growth and development. Majority of orthodontists consider this age ideal for the management of crooked and mal-aligned teeth through dental braces. Some prefer to say an age ranging from 10-14 years to be ideal.


Orthodontics can be done at any age but earlier is better


However, there is no age restriction for dental braces treatment and all age groups can benefit whenever they wish to opt for it. Mixed dentition and teenage is considered best for dental braces treatment as the child is still under growth period and the body copes better with changes in teeth arrangement and bone formation around the new position of teeth reduces the chances of teeth returning to their original position. Growing head and mouth are more conducive to straightening of crooked teeth and stability in the new achieved position and alignment.


Condition of child’s teeth usually guides regarding the decision for starting dental braces treatment. When a child loses baby teeth and grows new permanent teeth, an interceptive orthodontic approach is usually preferred by the dentists. It means using different orthodontic appliances instead of braces at this early age followed by the use of braces once all permanent teeth erupt within the mouth. If Appliances are used at the right time, treatment time for braces will be a lot less or may not even need to be done at all. This approach helps in achieving the best possible results with dental braces in future and the outcome of the child’s smile and facial development.

Call Now Button