We often think of orthodontic treatment as being something for teens and adults, but did you know that The Schulhof Center provides early orthodontic treatment for kids in Bergen County NJ? In fact, early orthodontic treatment for kids is beneficial because it prevents minor problems from becoming more complex and costly problems later in life.
But what are these problems and how can early orthodontics help? How do orthodontics for kids work? If you need more information, The Schulhof Center is here to offer a handy guide featuring what you need to know about early orthodontic treatment for kids in Bergen County NJ.
What Is Early Orthodontic Treatment For Kids?
Orthodontics is the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of teeth and jaw misalignments that affect our bite and may cause other health issues. Common problems orthodontic treatment corrects include open bite, crossbite, overbite, underbite, spaces between teeth, crookedness, and overcrowding. Other problems early treatment addresses include dental arch problems, early tooth loss, trouble speaking and chewing, drifting permanent teeth, impacted teeth, and protruding teeth.
A dental specialist known as an orthodontist has extensive education and training to provide treatment to patients, which often includes braces or clear aligners. Early orthodontic treatment for kids in Bergen County seeks to diagnose problems early because they are easier to fix since the jaws and teeth of children are more manipulable. As children grow into adulthood, their teeth become more challenging to shift.
Early orthodontic treatment is also known as interceptive orthodontics, which basically means that we seek to catch orthodontic problems as early as possible to correct them before they become worse.
How Does Early Orthodontic Treatment Work?
Early orthodontic treatment consists of two phases. Dr. Adam Schulhof will conduct a thorough examination of your child’s teeth and jaws to determine if treatment is necessary. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that parents take their child to see an orthodontist at 7-years-old, which is when the first adult teeth begin to erupt through the gums.
The first phase of treatment occurs prior to the child’s 12th birthday. If your child needs early orthodontic treatment, they may need to wear a space maintainer, a palatal expander, or limited braces for 12 months This concludes the first phase.
The second phase of treatment begins after a few years when the child turns 12 or 13. This allows your child to have a rest period between the phases of treatment. At this point, they may need to wear full braces or clear aligners for an additional 12-18 months.
Types Of Orthodontic Treatments
Orthodontists treat misalignments in a variety of ways, but the most common way is through braces and clear aligners such as Invisalign. That does not mean your child will necessarily need them, but they are both effective.
A space maintainer is a device that leaves space between two teeth so that the adult tooth under the gums has enough space to grow in properly to fill the gap. Without it, it’s possible that the existing teeth will shift into the space, thus obstructing the adult tooth.
A palatal expander is a device that widens the upper jaw in order to make the bone larger to fit all of your child’s permanent teeth.
There are several types of braces to choose from. Traditional braces feature metal brackets that are bonded to the front of each tooth using an adhesive. An archwire runs through the brackets and is the mechanism an orthodontist tightens to put pressure on the teeth to shift them gradually into correct alignment.
Ceramic braces work the same way, but the brackets are larger and can come in any color including clear or natural tooth color for a more invisible look.
Lingual braces are different because they bond to the back of the teeth, making them ideal for kids who may not want their treatment to be visible.
Invisalign Teen is a series of clear removable aligners that your child would wear for 22 hours a day. Unlike braces, clear aligners are easier to clean because you can remove them. That also means you can eat whatever you want because there are no dietary restrictions. Every two weeks, patients switch to a new set of aligners to begin the next stage of shifting. This is the equivalent of an orthodontist tightening the wire of braces, only without having to go to an appointment.
The aligners also feature a blue dot that fades away the more your child wears them.
This device works in conjunction with braces and Invisalign. Patients use Propel for just minutes every day to stimulate teeth into shifting faster, reducing treatment time.
This is a form of lingual braces that are custom-made for your mouth, making them more comfortable. The brackets are cast in gold, making them lighter as well.
How Long Does Early Orthodontic Treatment For Kids Take?
The length of orthodontic treatment will vary from patient to patient depending on the severity of the problem and how well teeth respond to shifting. The first phase of early orthodontic treatment for kids usually takes 12 months or less. After a rest period of a few years, phase two of treatment will take around 12 to 18 months.
Parents and child must exercise patience because treatment will take a few years to complete. But the results are worth it.
Cost Of Early Orthodontic Treatment For Kids In Bergen County
The cost of early orthodontic treatment for kids varies from patient to patient depending on what kind of treatment is necessary. The first phase of treatment typically costs between $450 to $1,500. The second phase is generally more expensive, especially if your child requires braces or clear aligners, which both cost between $3,500 to $8,000 or more. Factors that determine the final price include the severity of the problem, length of treatment, location, and the skill and expertise of your orthodontist.
The Schulhof Center makes treatment more affordable for patients by offering monthly payment plans. We also accept most insurance providers and major credit cards. Dental insurance can save you thousands of dollars and we will help you file claims.
The Schulhof Center proudly offers early orthodontic treatment for kids in Bergen County and surrounding communities in New Jersey. We believe that every child deserves a happy and healthy smile. To schedule an appointment, please call our office at 201-523-9450 or 201-262-0231 today!