Orthodontic Treatment for Children

In a healthy situation the teeth of a pre-school aged child should be spaced, to allow room for the wider adult teeth to erupt.

Orthodontic treatment is of course only effective when a child is willing and able to tolerate dental visits and orthodontic appliances. Though we prefer to treat children as soon as orthodontic problems are identified, sometimes this is not feasible. In this circumstance we monitor the child with regular visits until they are comfortable and happy to proceed.

What to look out for

When the child bites together, all upper and lower teeth should meet and the upper teeth should all sit in front of/outside the lower teeth. When the child swallows, all upper and lower teeth should meet. If a child’s teeth deviate from any of these norms, early orthodontic treatment may be required.

Left: ‘Crossbite’ – lower teeth biting in front of upper teeth. Orthodontics is required.
Right: No spaces between baby teeth – therefore inadequate space for permanent teeth. Orthodontics is required.


See the Results

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Seventeen year old Matilda’s teeth were crowded and her lower jaw was too far back. She hated her ‘vampire teeth’. We straightened Matilda’s teeth and brought her jaw forward with braces to create a beautiful smile. No teeth were extracted.

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Eleven year old Fergus’s teeth were crowded. Fergus’s three brothers had all had four teeth extracted during their orthodontic treatment elsewhere, and his mum wanted to avoid that now. We expanded Fergus’s jaws for six months with removable plates and then placed braces. Fergus now has a broader, more attractive jawline than he would have if teeth had been removed.

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Nine year old Molly’s teeth were crooked and she had a very large overbite. Overbites can be removed very successfully with removable plates in young patients such as Molly. Molly wore a removable plate to expand her upper jaw, and then a different plate to bring her lower jaw forward and remove her overbite. Once her permanent teeth all come through we will place braces to straighten them. No teeth will be extracted.

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Fifteen year old Sarah’s teeth were extremely crowded. Very rarely we do need to remove teeth to achieve our treatment goals. Here we removed two lower teeth and placed braces for fourteen months to create Sarah’s dream smile.