In our dental clinic in Milan, we treat both adults and children who wish to align their teeth. While braces are often an aesthetic choice for adults, orthodontic treatments may be necessary for children for reasons related to both growth alterations and impediments to normal eruption of permanent teeth.
When should a child come to the office for orthodontic evaluation?
We recommend that children come for the first evaluation between the ages of 5 and 6. This is because at that age we can see if the deciduous teeth are healthy and if the permanent teeth are all present and ready for the eruptive phase and we can verify how the upper jaw and mandible are growing. If growth problems or obstacles to dental eruption are detected, we could propose interceptive treatment to ensure that the child's jaw and teeth develop correctly. In this age group, bad habits are intercepted (infant swallowing, sucking of the finger or pacifier, oral breathing), front and rear cross bites, severe crowding, too deep or open biting (excessive overlapping of the front teeth or lack of overlap), excessive protrusion of the upper teeth, all factors that can worsen during growth and prevent the proper development of the arches and jaws.
What happens during the first visit at 5-6 years old?
At this stage we are interested in educating children and parents about:
Oral health and hygiene - if there are caries problems we report them and provide detailed instructions on cleaning the teeth
Bad habits - if your baby sucks his thumb or has oral breathing problems, for example, we report it and discuss changes in habits to safeguard proper jaw development
Proper nutrition - if your child has many caries problems also linked to improper nutrition, we will discuss his dietary habits, we will recommend the reduction of sugars to protect his teeth and we will evaluate the possibility of adding fluoride supplements to their diet
Highlight any orthodontic problems - already developing
From the orthodontic point of view at this age we are mainly looking for: any obstacles or problems with milk teeth that could prevent the correct eruption of permanent teeth and we already identify all the main occlusal problems - such as crossbite, deep bite or open bite.
It is not very common to treat orthodontic problems at this age, unless the cases are of a certain severity. Usually, while your baby's teeth and jaws are developing, regular checkups are limited every 3-6 months.
What can you expect from orthodontic treatment for your child?
When you take your child between the ages of 5 and 6 to an orthodontic office, you can expect his jaw growth to be checked and checked for potential problems. To protect the teeth and the health of the child, we will give advice on oral hygiene and eating habits to change. At this stage, in most cases, we do not recommend undergoing orthodontic treatment.
We will then monitor your child's progress through periodic checks.
What happens during a 7-9 year evaluation?
The next stage in which an orthodontic evaluation of the dentition is normally done is around 7-8 years. At this age it is possible to identify and address any problems related to the growth of the jaws and to set up so-called interceptive treatments; that is, able to intercept problems early and coordinate growth both in terms of direction and entity where there is a discrepancy between the two maxillaries. There are also problems of lack of space and crowding of the permanent teeth, an open or too deep bite, protrusion of the front teeth that put the upper incisors at risk of trauma, posterior crossbites that suggest a transverse growth defect of the upper jaw or an excess of growth of the mandible compared to the maxilla (prognathism) and if necessary orthodontic corrective treatments are proposed.
If the need arises for an intervention around the age of 7-8, a treatment plan will be drawn up. We will explain the various treatment options and which we believe is the best option for your child's oral health.
What can you expect from orthodontic treatments for children in our clinic in Milan?
We will monitor your baby's jaws and teeth as they grow and develop, from the first visit at 5-6 years until development is complete.
We will also provide advice on any highlighted dental health and oral hygiene issues and suggest whether or not cleaning or diet changes are required.
We could recommend targeted interventions with the speech therapist or physiotherapist if there are problems related to language, swallowing or the function of the temporomandibular joint.
In case we deem an orthodontic treatment necessary, we will submit you a detailed treatment plan. All possible treatment options, equipment, duration and costs will be outlined. If it is reasonable to think that there may be a need for a refinement treatment during adolescence, this will be explained. We will aim to complete the treatment in the least invasive and most efficient way possible.
How long will the orthodontic treatment last for my child?
This will depend on the nature of the problem highlighted and the complexity of the proposed treatment. We will also explain this in depth, so you and your child can prepare.
Interceptive treatments between the ages of 7 and 9 usually last between 15 and 18 months. Our goal is to make these treatments as short as possible as we believe it can be difficult to maintain cooperation longer in such small children.
Orthodontic treatment always requires a restraint phase whose length and characteristics depend on the specific case of the treatment itself. To ensure lasting success, we monitor children after interceptive treatment until the end of the exchange (eruption of all permanent teeth) and growth, at which time the occlusal situation is re-evaluated.
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