Early Ortho Treatment in Lancaster, PA

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About Early Ortho Treatment

At Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates, we have years of experience helping children and teenagers with their orthodontic treatment. Generally, the perfect time to start orthodontic care is earlier during a child’s life. Based on information from the American Association of Orthodontics, they suggest that children have an orthodontic assessment at age seven. Addressing orthodontic concerns earlier rather than later in children’s lives can decrease harmful oral conditions and dental problems for the future.

Because children are still experiencing bone and tooth development, we can help guide the proper growth of permanent teeth, bite alignment, and jaw development. Waiting later in life may make it more difficult to address certain problems down the road because the bones are still easily adjusted at this point. Please schedule a consultation with one of our Lancaster, PA orthodontists to learn more.

Best Candidates for Early Ortho Treatments

Typically, orthodontic conditions start around the ages 9 – 14 or after losing all the baby teeth and the adult teeth have fully grown in. However, for some younger patients, starting orthodontic treatments may be more beneficial to begin earlier in their life.

Starting at about age six, your child’s molars will start to grow and erupt. We review the position of these first molars as a baseline for your child’s orthodontic needs. We look at things, like occlusal classification, jaw and facial profile, and alignment issues. By reviewing these parts of the mouth, our orthodontists can help ensure permanent teeth have enough space to grow into. Your child may also benefit from early orthodontic intervention if they have issues, like:

  • Bite problems, such as crossbites or underbites
  • Teeth that stick out
  • Mouth breathing or thumb-sucking issues, which cause irregular development of the upper and lower jaw

When treating these issues during the development stage, we can decrease the possibility of your child requiring more extensive treatments in the future.

What to Expect

If we think your child may benefit from early orthodontic care, we begin by performing low-radiation digital x-rays and 3D imaging to create impressions. We also physically assess your child’s jaw joints, facial profile, and mouth to look for basic indicators that necessitate early treatment. During this appointment, we create a personalized treatment plan, which may include orthodontic appliances, such as palatal expanders and space maintainers. These devices encourage the bones to stretch so your child experiences normal tooth eruption. If they have baby teeth that prevent adult ones from growing in, teeth extractions may be needed to accommodate the grown-up tooth. Additionally, some children may need headgear or traditional braces to meet their needs.

Follow-Up for Early Ortho Treatment Plans

Based on your child’s treatment plan, we may need them to come into the office every month for adjustments to their appliances and continued monitoring. Our skilled team of dental professionals will teach your child how to floss and clean around their appliance so they can use best practices at home. If your child needs braces or a palatal expander, they may find it difficult to follow proper cleaning techniques, which may require extra support. We recommend helping them to ensure proper oral care. In some cases, patients may need additional cleaning instruments to reduce plaque accumulation around wires, brackets, and other hardware.   

Insurance Coverage

In most cases, some of your child's orthodontic treatments are covered. If a treatment or procedure is necessary, our financial team will contact your provider to determine if you have any extra expenses. Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates takes many payment methods, such as low-interest financing, that could help make your child's orthodontic care a lot easier to afford.

Take Action Early

Help your children achieve a beautiful, healthy smile early on. Our orthodontic team at Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates strives to provide positive and helpful care to our Lancaster, PA families and their children. By treating problems early, we can reduce the chances of significant functional problems that hinder good oral health. Please schedule a consultation to learn more about early ortho treatments.

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.