If you had braces when you were young, you probably wore them in your teenage years. In fact, you may have been late into high school before the braces finally came off. However, new standards of treatment mean that the age range for braces is starting to change. Today, many dentists, including Dr. Georgaklis, understand the importance of La Jolla orthodontics for younger children. By beginning treatment early, your dentist may be able to correct malocclusion (significant bite misalignment). At a complete evaluation, Dr. Georgaklis will determine your child’s candidacy for orthodontics in San Diego.

Why Your Child Might Need Braces

If Dr. Georgaklis recommends braces for a child under 10, his goal is typically to correct malocclusion. This type of misalignment often results from improper skeletal development. There are several types of malocclusion, including:

  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Open bites

Each of these forms of misalignment will disrupt the force of a child’s bite. As a result of the uneven pressure on the child’s teeth, he or she could experience tooth erosion, cracked teeth, and other dental damage. The imbalance could also put a lot of pressure on the jaw joints, increasing a child’s risk for TMJ Disorder. In turn, this condition can cause significant discomfort, headaches, and many other chronic symptoms.

In some cases, Dr. Georgaklis may recommend La Jolla orthodontics to address the appearance of a young child’s smile. Braces can often correct cosmetic issues in just 2 to 6 months. However, it is easy to address slight misalignment at any age, including adulthood. Therefore, Dr. Georgaklis may wait until most of a child’s adult teeth have come in before recommending cosmetic orthodontics at his San Diego practice.

Pediatric Orthodontics in San Diego

The American Association of Orthodontists® recommends that all children have an orthodontic evaluation before age 7. At this time, a dentist can examine a child’s dental development and look for signs of serious misalignment. When Dr. Georgaklis recommends pediatric orthodontia for malocclusion, the treatment will usually take place in two stages.

Phase 1 orthodontics will typically occur between the ages of 7 and 10. During this phase, Dr. Georgaklis will correct overall bite alignment. These issues are easier to address at a young age, since a child’s bones are still growing and developing. Phase 1 orthodontia may involve an expander or retainer. In some cases, this device may be combined with traditional braces. Phase 2 orthodontics will usually take place several years later, often after most of a child’s adult teeth have come in. In many cases, treatment is shorter, thanks to the earlier round of orthodontia. During this phase of the treatment, pre-teens or teens will wear traditional metal braces. We offer a range of clear and colored rubber bands, so young patients can customize their devices to match their moods and personalities.

Learn More about La Jolla Orthodontics

Find out if your child would benefit from orthodontics at our San Diego practice. Contact us today to schedule your little one’s orthodontic evaluation.