SHAPING CHILDREN’S TEETH WITH
Early Orthodontics (Under 10)
Early orthodontics (or Interceptive Treatment) describes any treatment recommended by the orthodontist when your child is between 7-10 years of age. During this time almost all children will have a mixture of “adult” and “baby” teeth still present. The aim is to intervene early and “intercept” any abnormalities in the development of the teeth and bite.
It is important to take action early if your child’s bite is not right. Early intervention is often in a child’s best interests. If planned and implemented at the right time this modern approach can reduce or prevent the need for braces when your child is older. There are a few simple visual checks you can do to see if a visit to the orthodontic specialist might be useful
Here are the signs that the bight is not right:
- Early or late loss of milk teeth or excessively spaced teeth
- Difficulties with biting into food e.g. your child bites using their molars and not their front teeth
- Mainly breathes through their mouth and does not seem to be able to close their lips fully
- Misshapen or angled teeth e.g. the front or lower teeth stick-out, teeth meet unusually or don’t meet at all
- Very crowded teeth or extra teeth
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
- They bite their cheek or other soft tissues or frequently have a rash around the mouth
- Thumb/finger or dummy sucking beyond the age of 4
Not every child will need their teeth straightened, but if planned and implemented at the right time, then early intervention can reduce or prevent the need for braces as a teenager. The solutions fall into two categories. These are early orthodontics or interceptive orthodontics which may include:
“Fixed” or “Removable” appliances creating desirable changes. Help with how to position a child’s tongue when they swallow. Habit breaking appliances – intervening to stop a thumb or finger sucking habit. Palate expanders – if a child’s palate is too narrow, limiting the room for adult teeth, an expander will help to widen the palate.
Sometimes no appliances are necessary. Instead, removal of some milk teeth may help the adult teeth move into their correct position. The extractions will be timed to the best advantage of a patient’s growth and development.
Learn more about different types of interceptive treatments in our blog
Early orthodontic treatment has 5 key benefits:
- Treatment is more effective while your children are still growing.
- Reduced the likelihood of complications e.g. damage to the roots or trauma.
- Potentially avoiding more complex treatment in the future
- In some cases avoiding the extraction of permanent teeth
- Improvement in your child’s self esteem and confidence
Got a question?
Our Orthodontic Team
We have 3 orthodontic specialists, with world-class education from top UK and USA universities and with more than 10 years of experience of children’s orthodontics.
GDC No. 195243
Stephanie completed her specialist training in orthodontics at King’s College London. Stephanie was awarded the distinction for her outstanding work on her Master’s degree and the membership in Orthodontics by the Royal College of Surgeons. Stephanie originally qualified in dentistry at Tel Aviv University. She then undertook further training in advanced general dentistry and trained with experts in the field of aesthetic dentistry at the Hadassah University of Jerusalem. After practising for five years in general and aesthetic dentistry, she relocated to London and began her specialist training in orthodontics. Her background in aesthetic dentistry has given Stephanie an eye for detail that is often lacking in traditional orthodontics.
Stephanie believes that orthodontics is about more than straight teeth; it is where art meets science, and detail meets beauty. At Happy Kids Dental, Stephanie uses the most contemporary techniques to provide orthodontics for children. She believes in interceptive treatments for children, where possible avoiding extraction, working with growth and development patterns, as well as functional treatments and fixed braces.
A certified Invisalign practitioner, Stephanie is also qualified to provide Incognito and WIN lingual braces. She considers all modern systems for her cases, including ceramic braces.
Stephanie has expertise with cases involving jaw surgery and those requiring multidisciplinary treatments involving restorative dentistry or gum surgery. She works closely with the team to provide results that encompass all aspects of the smile, jaw, and face.
Dr. Stephanie Oiknine
DMD MSc MOrth RCSEd
GDC No. 195243
GDC No. 83881
Dr. Amina Abdel-Karim
BDS (Bristol) MFDS RCS Eng, MSc, MOrth RCSEd, FDS Orth RCSEd
GDC No. 83881