Orthodontic issues such as teeth misalignment and bite irregularities generally begin in the early stages of development. For this reason, most people who undergo orthodontic treatment are adolescents and children. Braces, orthodontic appliances, and other types of orthodontic treatment can not only provide children with straighter, healthier-looking teeth and correct concerns such as overbite and underbite—they can also decrease the risk that major dental work will be required later. Untreated orthodontic conditions can make the likelihood of impacted teeth, extraction of permanent teeth, and other problems even greater, which makes it all the more important for children to see a qualified orthodontist early in life to determine whether there are any developmental malformations occurring and to explore potential treatment options.
Fortunately, our board-certified orthodontist, Patrick T. Cuozzo, DDS, and the team here at Cuozzo Orthodontic Specialists offer a comprehensive selection of orthodontic treatments for children that can help your child develop a straighter, more uniform set of teeth and an improved bite. These advanced treatments can ultimately lead to a bright, confident smile for years to come!
- What Age Can My Child Start Orthodontics?
- Braces for Kids
- Orthodontic Procedures for Children
- How Much Do Braces for Children Cost?
What Age Can My Child Start Orthodontics?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should have an orthodontic evaluation by the time they have turned 7 years-old. This is typically the age for which children have begun developing permanent teeth, which allows orthodontists to formulate a better assessment as to whether bite issues, teeth misalignment, crowding, or developmental jaw irregularities may appear. In addition, an orthodontist can help guide incoming teeth to increase the chance that the permanent teeth have enough room once they begin to erupt. These early evaluations can also be necessary to identify issues that may not be prominently visible, especially among individuals who otherwise exhibit perfectly straight teeth. Remember, an early evaluation by an orthodontist may find that there are no orthodontic concerns whatsoever. In these cases, an occasional check-up may be the only additional step recommended, which can be helpful for monitoring the teeth as they come in and ensuring that jaw and facial development is progressing smoothly.
What Kinds of Braces for Kids Are Available?
Some of the many kinds of braces and orthodontic treatments for children include:
Traditional Metal Braces
While traditional metal braces are more aesthetically apparent on the teeth, the fact is that these options provide one of the most effective ways to correct orthodontic concerns ranging from mild to severe. Plus, traditional metal braces often provide a more cost-effective treatment option for many individuals.
Learn more about metal braces.
Clear braces are made of a translucent ceramic material that can make them less noticeable on the teeth during orthodontic treatment. They utilize the same methodology as traditional braces; however, clear braces are often a popular option among children because they are not as visible as their metal counterparts.
Learn more about clear braces.
Invisalign® Teen is a special version of standard Invisalign® treatment that is designed with the particular developmental stages of adolescent patients in mind. Instead of brackets and wires, this treatment utilizes a series of removable aligners to gradually correct mild to moderate orthodontic concerns. The aligners are made of a clear plastic material that makes them nearly invisible while they are on the teeth.
Learn more about Invisalign® Teen.
Orthodontic appliances such as palatal expanders, headgear, retainers, and other options available from our practice can serve as primary treatments or as adjuncts to other orthodontic procedures.
Learn more about orthodontic appliances.
Our orthodontists are committed to utilizing the Alexander Discipline whenever possible. This orthodontic technique is designed to provide our patients with a more comfortable treatment process, as well as to more rapidly produce the best possible results.
Learn more about the Alexander Discipline.
What Do Orthodontic Procedures for Children Involve?
Orthodontic procedures for children are typically categorized in two phases. The first is early phase orthodontics, which is often recommended for children who still have their baby teeth. Early phase treatment at Cuozzo Orthodontics is mainly used to correct crossbites and jaw structure, with the goal of helping the teeth to align properly as the jaw continues growing over this period of development. This phase of orthodontic treatment essentially helps create the room necessary for the permanent teeth, reducing the likelihood of tooth extraction if orthodontic treatment is still required later in life. Early phase orthodontics can also decrease the possibility that jaw surgery will need to be performed later in order to correct functional issues caused by poor jaw development or tooth position. Treatments that may be advised for early phase orthodontics include palatal expanders, headgears, orthodontic retainers, and (sometimes) partial braces.
The second phase of orthodontic treatment for children is typically geared more toward adolescent patients. This phase involves treatments that most people are familiar with, such as traditional braces or other techniques designed to bring the teeth into an improved alignment. Some patients begin orthodontic treatment at this stage, while others continue with phase two orthodontics after they have completed early phase orthodontics. In many cases, the first phase is ideal for patients who have particularly complex orthodontic problems—once that phase is completed, the teeth and jaws are more prepared for the traditional orthodontic treatment methods of phase two, and thereby the extent of treatment and overall treatment time may be reduced during the second phase. Phase two orthodontic treatments can include options such as full braces, Invisalign® clear teeth aligners, or other orthodontic appliances. These treatments can correct misalignment and bite irregularities to improve both dental aesthetics and oral function.
Our orthodontic treatments are uniquely customized for each patient. Once your child has been evaluated, our orthodontist can talk with you about the most ideal treatment options, the projected length of time orthodontic appliances will need to be worn, and other aspects of the process to help you know what to expect once treatment begins.
How Much Do Braces for Children Cost?
Orthodontic treatment for children or adolescents typically costs in the range of $500.00 to $8,000.00 at our practice. It is important to note that this is a general estimate; the total cost can vary significantly among patients due to the specific type of orthodontic treatment they receive. Factors such as the complexity of the orthodontic concerns being treated, the projected duration of the treatment period, and other components of the process will also be taken into account for the overall price. Once your child’s treatment plan is created during the consultation, a member of our team here at Cuozzo Orthodontic Specialists will produce a total cost estimate and talk with you about payment options. Many orthodontic procedures are covered under dental insurance plans, and we can assist you with determining whether your policy includes coverage for these treatments. We also accept a range of payment methods, including financing arrangements through CareCredit®, that can make the cost of orthodontic treatment affordable and convenient for a variety of budgets.
Would you like to learn more about orthodontic treatment options for children? Please contact us today with any questions you may have, or to schedule a consultation with our orthodontist.