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.
"We have always had good experiences at LPDA for the past 5 years with 2 kids. Tabitha is especially amazing with kids. Highly recommend this practice."- M.M. / Google / Nov 15, 2022
"I have been taking my daughter here for about 2 years and have been very pleased. They are very professional, timely and have super friendly and accommodating front desk staff."- N.P. / Google / Oct 26, 2022
"We have been coming to LPDA for years for my two daughters. My nine year old saw Dr. Levicoff For the first time recently and I was very impressed. He was extremely kind to her and very engaged in everything she said. He never ignored her. Then he showed me her films and made sure he explained everything to me thoroughly. I am hoping we get him every time we are there."- L.L. / Google / Oct 20, 2022
"As an adult who attended this place and who now has a child coming here I do not think there is much more to say. They do a really good job with the kids and making them feel comfortable. At the same time they simplify and inform the children of what is going so they are not surprised. The atmosphere is kept fun and relaxed. She likes the freebies and the tv to watch. They are currently under renovations and maybe a change in overall ownership. So some time will tell if it is change for the better."- A.O. / Google / Oct 13, 2022
"This was our daughter’s first dentist appointment and I am SO happy with how it went! Besides being behind on schedule, which seems typical for all offices nowadays, it was amazing. All staff were super friendly. The dentist wasn’t as personable, but I imagine that may have been timing. Highly recommend!"- F. / Google / Oct 07, 2022
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.
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.