Maarten Broess DDS, DMSc, DMD, PC | Clear Braces, Orthodontics for Children and Invisalign reg

Orthodontics for Children

Most problems involving the alignment of your child’s teeth and the growth of their jaws can be identified by the time they are in the first or second grade. That is why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have a check up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. At this visit the orthodontist will carefully examine your child’s bite and assess the alignment and development of the teeth. The orthodontist will also look at the growth and relationships of the jaws, and in particular check for any shifts or dysfunction. It will also be determined if any premature tooth loss, habits, swallowing or breathing patterns are having an effect on your child’s occlusion.

Following this visit the orthodontist will indicate if any immediate preventative or interceptive orthodontic care is needed. In many circumstances no treatment is required right away and the child can be observed until it is the appropriate time for care. Your child’s dental development as well as their prospective facial growth will be carefully considered in outlining the best timetable for care.

Orthodontic treatment for children typically begins between the ages of 9 and 14. At this time they are generally in the mid to late mixed dentition stage. This means they have a mix of permanent front teeth, permanent molars, and some baby teeth. The benefit of placing braces at this stage is that the orthodontist can improve the alignment of permanent front teeth, guide the incoming new adult teeth into position, and utilize the child’s growth and development to best advantage.

Early Treatment

Often habits such as prolonged thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and certain swallowing or breathing patterns that can open or distort the bite are better dealt with when care is initiated at a younger age. Early treatment is also helpful when the top jaw is too narrow, not developing in harmony with the lower jaw, or if permanent top teeth are behind the lower ones when closing the jaws. Likewise, if a young child’s front teeth protrude excessively or very severe crowding is present a first phase of orthodontic care can be beneficial.

The objectives of early treatment and a first phase of orthodontic care are to influence jaw growth, create more space for crowded teeth, help to correct harmful habits, and improve facial aesthetics. With early treatment the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth as well as the need for extractions of permanent teeth can be lessened. Early treatment can also simplify the next phase of orthodontic care. 

Child Orthodontics

  • Ceramic Braces/Metal Braces
  • Clear Braces
  • Invisalign® Teen
  • Two-Phase Treatments
  • Monitoring Growth & Development

Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics for Children

What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment for my child?


When patients’ jaws or teeth are out of alignment, it can lead to lasting damage and an increased risk of oral health problems. Misaligned and crowded teeth are more difficult to clean making it more likely for decay to develop. A severe overjet and deep bite can cause uneven wear and tear on your child’s teeth and can also cause problems with their temporomandibular joint and ability to chew or speak properly. Orthodontic treatment helps to bring the jaw and teeth into proper alignment to give your child their best chance at a life free from oral health concerns.

How Does Orthodontic Treatment Improve My Child's Life?


It starts with a smile they can be proud to share. Aesthetic dental concerns can be a very challenging part of a child’s life, resulting in teasing and bullying and problems with self-confidence. Preventing decay is also more difficult when teeth are crowded and misaligned. Speaking, chewing, singing, any activity that involves the mouth is affected by the alignment of the teeth and jaw.

Why Does My Child Have Orthodontic problems?


The majority of orthodontic concerns faced by children are the result of genetics. There are other orthodontic issues that are caused by poor habits such as thumb sucking and dental disease. Patients who lose their baby teeth early aren’t able to benefit from the stabilizing action these teeth provide and can develop severe crowding or even impaction of permanent teeth.

When Should I Consider Getting My Child Orthodontic Treatment?


Each patient is an individual and the right time for orthodontic treatment can vary. Your child should receive their first orthodontic assessment by seven years of age. Beyond that, the best time to get your child orthodontic treatment is when Dr. Broess determines that its time. His assessment will be based on your child’s development and the type of orthodontic problem.

What's Involved With Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?


As the name suggests, this treatment is done in two active phases. The first phase is focused on aiding the jaw in developing appropriately and allowing normal eruption of the permanent teeth. Early Phase one orthodontics will provide the best chance for there to be sufficient room for your child’s permanent teeth. The first warning signs of your child needing Phase I orthodontics is an upper jaw that is too narrow, severe crowding, impaction of permanent teeth, protrusion of the front teeth or an underbite. Once a child has reached six years of age, it becomes possible to begin treatment. Early treatment can help to save your child’s smile later in life.

Once phase one is finished, there is a stage known as the resting period. During this time, the patient’s teeth are allowed to proceed through the eruption process naturally. Your child will be wearing a retainer to prevent losing any progress made. During this time Dr Broess will continue to monitor your child’s dental development.

The final stage of the two-phase orthodontic treatment ensures that all of the teeth are properly in position. This ensures that the natural balance of tongue, lips, teeth, and cheeks can be properly established. In most cases, patients going through phase two will be fitted with upper and lower braces by Dr. Broess. This part of the treatment often lasts less than 22 months. After this treatment, your child will continue to wear retainers to ensure their teeth remain in place. Dr. Broess recommends his patients to wear a retainer at night for the rest of their lives.

Have more questions about Orthodontics or Braces for your child?

Reach out today to schedule an appointment to decide what the best treatment option is for you.

Maarten Broess DDS, DMSc, DMD, PC | Generic Clear Braces, Mouthguards and Orthodontic Appliances

Our Services

Learn More

New Patients

Learn More

Request an Appointment

Start Today

Contact Info

1414 Atwood Avenue
Suite 320
Johnston, RI 02919
Existing Patients: (401) 831-1414
New Patients: (401) 354-2013

Office Hours

8:30 am - 5:00 pm
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Mon., Thu., Sat., Sun.