Orthodontics

Facial Growth/Development

If you learn that your child requires treatment to correct his or her teeth or bite, early intervention is imperative. For example, some of the most effective treatment options are started when your child's jaw is still developing. The same options would be impossible to administer once your child's jaw has developed fully.

When Is the Best Time for Treatment?

As a parent, many of you wonder at what age treatment should begin. Between ages 5 and 7, when your child's permanent teeth begin to come into the mouth, you may begin to notice overcrowding. This age is the perfect time to take advantage of your child's growing facial bones. Studies indicate that 75 percent of a child's growth takes place before the age of 10. Early treatment expands and directs these growing bones into a healthy functioning mouth.

Early treatment also works to intercept the jaw and dental imbalances to produce a full and aesthetically pleasing smile without having to remove adult teeth. If you wait until your child is a teenager to begin correcting any asymmetry or imbalances in the facial bones, the results can be drastic. It could result in a profile that:

  • Requires removal of the teeth
  • Is prone to TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) or other joint difficulties
  • Has a smile that can only be slightly altered, not completely fixed

Early examination

An early dental exam allows Dr. Osmundson to assess when your child's specific problem should be addressed and treated. This will allow for the most effective improvement possible. During the initial exam, we will evaluate your child's:

  • Facial growth
  • Space between teeth
  • Crowding
  • Extra or missing teeth

We will also look for habits such as:

  • Thumb-sucking
  • Tongue-thrusting
  • Jaw clenching

These habits may affect normal growth and development. They can change you child's tooth alignment in addition to their facial appearance.

If your child does not need early treatment, we will still schedule follow-up exams to ensure the teeth are coming in nicely and that the face and jaws continue to grow properly.

If you child is beginning to grow his or her permanent teeth, it is time to visit a dentist. If you live in the Buffalo area, please contact our office today for a initial consultation. Early intervention can bring your child's teeth, face, and mouth into harmony. Please contact our office today.