Baby Teeth & Braces for Baby Teeth
Many people, including parents of young children, view primary teeth, also known as baby teeth, as essentially disposable or otherwise dispensable temporary teeth. While it is true that all baby teeth will eventually fall out and be replaced with a permanent replacement, they still serve a very important function for the health and development of a young child.
Baby teeth play an essential role in the development of a child’s physical and social development. Not only do healthy primary teeth allow children to bite, chew, and eat food efficiently, they also allow children to enunciate and develop their language skills. The latter is of particular importance for the social development of young children of school age who must learn to speak effectively and interact with both adults and other children.
“The best time to begin orthodontic treatment is at age 7, but most children don’t visit Willow Pass Dental Care until late adolescence.”
— DR. REZA KHAZAIE, DDS. PROSTHODONTIST
The development of primary teeth also plays a critical role in the healthy development of adult teeth, a child’s oral cavity, and facial structure. Baby teeth often act as guides for erupting adult teeth. When primary teeth are out of order, crowded, or otherwise improperly located, incoming adult teeth may have problems erupting correctly.
Furthermore, crowding, malocclusion, and other dental deformities of the primary teeth may also affect the growth and development of the underlying jaw bone and the soft tissues of the mouth. That’s why if a primary tooth is either damaged or lost due to trauma, decay, or disease, it may be necessary to either repair or replace. Baby teeth are temporary and the space they create and hold allow for adult teeth to come in correctly and with minimal crowding.
Most people are not born with million dollar smiles. Celebrities like Faith Hill, Niall Horan, Justin Bieber, Zac Efron, Emma Watson, Selena Gomez, Tom Cruise, and Gwen Stefani reached their million dollar smiles through braces and orthodontic treatment. So, who knows, your smile may give you an opportunity to the big screen!
When Should Your Child See An Orthodontist At Willow Pass Dental
Once a child reaches 7 or 8 years of age, many dental professionals recommend scheduling the first consultation with a pediatric orthodontist. Typically, a child will lose his or her first tooth between the ages of 5 and 8. Primary teeth tend to shed in the order in which they first came in with the two front teeth often the first to come loose.
While there are often no orthodontic procedures for children at this stage of development, bringing your child for a visit will allow us to take a look at your child’s bite and jaw alignment, screen for any potential orthodontic concerns, and map out the development of your child’s teeth, mouth, and jaw. It will also be a good start to eliminating the fear of seeing a dentist.
By establishing a baseline and orthodontic development map, our orthodontic team will be able to track and monitor the development of your child’s teeth. More importantly, this will allow our orthodontist to catch and correct potential deviations or dental issues long before they become a major orthodontic concern.
Does My Child Need Baby Teeth Braces?
Although rare, there are times when braces must be used on baby teeth. Typically braces are used for very young children before the shedding of all of their baby teeth when a severe dental deformity that can be corrected with braces is present such as overcrowding.
In this case, the braces are not intended as a permanent solution, but as a guide to better position the primary teeth so as to help erupting adult teeth into the right positions.
Often orthodontic treatments can be divided into two phases:
The first phase focuses on adequately positioning the primary teeth.
The second phase consists of moving adult permanent teeth into the correct locations.
Braces on Baby Teeth
By first treating and assisting the baby teeth in the first phase, correcting a young child’s permanent teeth and bite becomes much easier. It is much easier to reposition a child’s teeth or adjust their jaw alignment while they are very young and their bones are still growing. Once the permanent teeth have erupted, this process becomes much more difficult and time-consuming.
5 Reasons To Have Your Child See An Orthodontist at Willow Pass Dental Care Now Rather Than Later
1. Get an Orthodontic Screening
The goal of orthodontic screening as well as dental development mapping is to help lay out a growth trajectory for a child’s teeth. Doing so early will help our orthodontic team track the child’s growth and development as well as address any dental issues before they become severe issues.
Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth an ounce of cure. By engaging our orthodontics team early in a child’s development, parents can help their children avoid lots of future pain and make future orthodontic treatments easier.
2. Monitor Dental Development
Bringing our orthodontic team on board before your child has shed all his or her baby teeth, or before all of their adult teeth have emerged is a great idea. Having our professional orthodontics team at Willow Pass Dental Care monitor the growth and development of your child’s teeth will ensure that any problems are dealt with and resolved long before they become a severe dental issue.
3. Address Malocclusion
An early orthodontic evaluation also gives our orthodontics team an opportunity to help guide jaw bone growth or make necessary adjustments to the child’s bite. Often the upper and lower jawbones of a child’s mouth will grow at differential rates leading to underbites, overbites, and other forms of malocclusion. Early treatment of these situations is much easier during the window of time before the emergence of all the adult teeth.
4. Address Severe Crowding
Severe crowding often requires early intervention while the baby teeth are still in and well before all the adult teeth have merged.
Crowding occurs when the jaw bones are too small to accommodate the teeth in a child’s mouth. As a result of the lack of space, teeth become jumbled together. This presents a problem for the eruption of adult teeth which are often forced to emerge in less than ideal locations and angles in the mouth. While addressing crowding of baby teeth may not prevent the need for braces in the future, it will make future orthodontic treatment faster and easier.
5. Ensure Proper Eruption of Adult Teeth
Besides eating and chewing, the entire purpose of baby teeth is to hold a space for future permanent teeth to erupt into. As a result, it is essential to ensure that the primary teeth themselves are in the right places. Early orthodontic treatment can help ensure that adult teeth emerge correctly.
By aiding in the proper eruption of these adult teeth, young children will often find any secondary orthodontic treatments much easier. Engaging our orthodontic team earlier rather than later in your child’s development will better set your child up for a beautiful smile.
Bring Your Child to Willow Pass Dental Care for A Checkup Today
Willow Pass Dental Care is dedicated to providing the best pediatric dental care for children. Serving families in the Concord, Walnut Creek, Pittsburg, Antioch, San Ramon, and Martinez areas. Our orthodontic procedures for children are carefully planned, executed, and monitored by some of the best dental professionals in the industry.
Pain, anxiety, and stress are all kept to a minimum to ensure as smooth and as comfortable a process as possible for your child.