Orthodontics for Children and Adolescents

Most young parents wonder about the age at which their children should be examined by an orthodontist for the first time. According to the American Orthodontics Federation, the child’s first orthodontic visit should be made at the age of seven.

At this age, the special therapeutic and developmental needs of each child can be diagnosed, as well as any skeletal abnormalities, such as narrow upper jaw, overgrown mandible (this will occur to a small percentage of children) and treated in a simple and painless way.

Early orthodontic interventions help the development of the jaws, ensuring proper anatomical development and a healthy smile for your child.

In such cases, mobile orthodontic appliances are usually used for 12 to 16 months and then the progress of the treatment is based on the development of the child. If a second intervention is needed (with fixed braces), the procedure will be much easier and faster than if we started the treatment much later.

We must clarify that there are few children who will need substantial intervention at the age of seven or eight. However, for all children who seem to be in need of some – albeit simple – orthodontic care, it is the best time to set a timeline for the most appropriate time to start any treatment. Most orthodontic treatments usually start when most of the child’s permanent teeth have erupted, this usually happens between the ages of 10 and 12.

When aesthetics and health go hand in hand

It is not only for aesthetic reasons that jaws must properly close. The aesthetic part is the first thing one notices (the parent, the child itself, family and friends) and perhaps attracts the greatest attention. Apart from this not so insignificant factor, a series of functions are performed more correctly, contributing to the better health and hygiene of the teeth:

  • Proper chewing and preparation of food for digestion
  • Easier brushing of teeth and reduced possibility of caries
  • Reduced possibility of gingivitis and the negative consequences of its appearance: bad breath, bone loss, tooth loss
  • Reduced likelihood of joint problems.

In general, at a young age, the teeth and jaws are more easily guided towards the right position and the orthodontist can achieve results which will be difficult or impossible to achieve if the development of the face and jaws is complete.

Why do children react to orthodontic treatment?

Adult orthodontics is applied in many cases of people who are either trying to correct orthodontic problems for the first time or as a continuation of an older treatment.

For example, in many cases of orthodontic treatment with braces there is discomfort, at first, until the children get used to them. Also, at mealtime, care must be taken not to let the fixed braces come off. Daily brushing becomes very difficult and is inadequate if not very meticulous.

These are the main reasons why treatment with braces often causes tension at home between children and their parents and makes children become negative about their treatment.

Therapeutic intervention in Adolescence

Adolescents make up a significant percentage of people who need orthodontic care. A visit to the orthodontist should be a pleasant experience for a teenager in order to be more cooperative and patient while waiting for results. Understanding the peculiarities of this age, we always suggest solutions that offer the best possible result, both from a medical point of view and from an aesthetic point of view.

Orthodontic treatment that begins in adolescence usually lasts from 12 to 24 months, although its duration largely depends on the nature of the problem, the technique chosen and the adolescent’s compliance with the orthodontist’s instructions.

Invisalign method for Children and Adolescents

There is no better method for children and teens than the “invisible” form of Invisalign orthodontic treatment! The desired result is achieved without noticing the orthodontic work done.

The aligners are customized and bring the teeth in the right position, causing less irritation to the gums and facilitating oral hygiene.

The Invisalign system is based on a sequence of clear aligners, which gradually move the teeth to the desired position, in a completely aesthetic way.

At the first visit to the doctor’s office, we can easily determine which Invisalign technique is suitable for the specific child or teenager.

The Invisalign system uses the same clear splints for children and adolescents as for adults, without applying conventional braces and wires.

The splints are worn on the upper and lower dental arches for 21 to 22 hours daily and are removed during meals and brushing. It is important to emphasize that splints do not affect adolescents’ lessons, activities, sports or speech.

We change the splints every two (2) weeks with a new set which continues to move the teeth to their new position and this happens with all the splints, until the last set completes the treatment, leading the teeth to their final, straight position.

Advantages of the Invisalign system

The main advantage of the Invisalign method for children and adolescents, in addition to what is mentioned below, is that it is the most acceptable treatment of all.

This method, however, has many more advantages such as:

  • Comfortable and convenient splints as well as fewer and less frequent appointments. Visits to the Orthodontist are now made every 5-6 weeks, instead of every 3-4 weeks, as the child or teenager only needs to change the splints given to them by the doctor. During these appointments the doctor checks the treatment, makes any corrections if necessary, informs the patients and the parents about the course of the treatment and finally, gives the next sets of splints together with relevant instructions.
  • Splints are durable. They do not run the risk of detaching or breaking during activities, unlike braces, where the risk of having an accident is increased.
  • Splints do not hurt or irritate the gums and tongue, nor do they affect the child’s speech.
  • Because they are mobile, splints come and go easily and allow daily brushing and oral hygiene.

The daily and meticulous brushing of teeth and orthodontic appliances is an absolute prerequisite in Orthodontics for adults and children.

Diamond 900 ικανοποιημενοι ασθενεις
Diamond 900 ικανοποιημενοι ασθενεις