Get a Head Start on a Beautiful Smile

As a parent in Visalia, you want the best for your child. That includes healthy teeth and a pleasing smile.

Our team will treat your children like our own by giving them the best possible orthodontic care.

Kids Should Get an Orthodontic Check-Up By 7

By seven years old your child's teeth have developed enough for subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth to still be spotted while some baby teeth are still present. This check-up may reveal that your child's bite is fine, and braces for kids aren't necessary.

Or Dr. Murray or Dr. Olson may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring your child's growth and development, and then, if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time for your child.

In other cases, your doctor might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.

What Is Early Treatment?

Early treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.

Early treatment (also known as Phase One) typically begins around age eight or nine (Phase Two will begin around age 11 or older).

The goal of early treatment is to correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems, such as underbite. Early treatment also helps to make room for permanent teeth to come in properly, lessening the chance of extractions in the future.

In some cases, Dr. Murray and Dr. Olson will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.

Two-Phase Treatment

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that combines tooth straightening and physical, facial changes. The purpose of two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, and aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your child's life.

The goal of Phase One treatment is to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate all of the permanent teeth and improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. Children often exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop.

The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly. Phase Two usually involves full upper and lower braces.

Putting off treatment can result in a need for more invasive treatment later in life that may not completely fix your child's smile. Early treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results.

Choosing the Best Time for Treatment

While the age that kids get braces may vary, orthodontic treatment most often begins between the ages of 9 and 14. Some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they’re treated early.

If Dr. Murray or Dr. Olson believe your child will need treatment, they’ll let you know when it will be best to begin treatment. This gives your orthodontist the best chance to:

  • Guide jaw growth
  • Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
  • Correct harmful oral habits
  • Improve appearance and self-esteem in your child
  • Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
  • Create a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips and face
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Signs the Bite's Not Right

It's not always easy to tell when your child may need braces or has an orthodontic problem. Even teeth that look straight may be hiding a problem bite.

Here are some clues that may indicate the need for orthodontic attention:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Jaws that are too far forward or back
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Upper and lower teeth that don't meet, or meet in an abnormal way
  • An unbalanced facial appearance
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth

 

Learn More at Your Free Consultation

If your child has a dental issue, please contact us by setting up a free consultation at our Visalia office.

We can talk about your child's orthodontic options and develop a treatment plan customized to your child's needs.