Orthodontic treatment for children

Othodontic treatment for children

While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the Orthodontic Society of Ireland recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven. By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, which allows Dr. Geoghegan to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner.

At SOP, we offer a pre-orthodontic guidance programme with visits twice a year. This allows Dr. Geoghegan to monitor and guide your child’s dental development and growth over time. This programme also allows him to recommend any required treatment at the optimal time.

Does your child need orthodontic treatment?

For parents, it’s not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment. Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:

Does your child need orthodontic treatment?

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • A hard time chewing or biting food
  • Mouth breathing
  • Finger or thumb sucking
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked teeth
  • Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
  • Teeth that come together abnormally or do not come together at all
  • Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
  • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight

The first visit

The Orthodontic Society of Ireland recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven. At this age, the incisor teeth should have started to erupt and the first permanent molar teeth should already have erupted and established contact with each other. Some children can benefit from early treatment, however, only a small percentage of children do actually require treatment at this age.

The first visit

In some instances, we may recommend your child has preliminary treatment using a functional appliance to help establish correct alignment at this early age and try and reduce the extent of orthodontic treatment required as they get older. At SOP we use two types of functional appliances:

  • Twin block appliance: The Twin Block is a removable, functional appliance to help encourage growth of the lower jaw and improve your overjet. It is made up of two components, an upper and lower plate which works together to posture the lower jaw forward and encourages the jaw to grown to its fullest potential.

  • Herbst® appliance: The Herbst appliance reduces overbite by encouraging the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward. This appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 12-15 months.

Our pre-orthodontic guidance programme

At SOP, when a child is initially assessed for possible early treatment, a thorough examination of the teeth and jaw is carried out to determine if there are any missing or extra teeth present, the position of the unerupted teeth and the roots and shape of the teeth. If treatment is indicated, Dr. Geoghegan will discuss why and what is specifically needed. If orthodontic problems are evident but no early treatment is indicated, Dr. Geoghegan will offer to continue to observe your child’s teeth and jaw development.

Pre orthodontist guidance

SOP’s pre-orthodontic guidance programme is specifically designed to monitor and guide your child’s dental development and growth over time with two visits a year. This allows Dr. Geoghegan to begin treatment at precisely the right time to guarantee the best results.

If you have a child seven years or older that has not yet been evaluated by an orthodontist, please feel free to contact our practice. We look forward to working with you and your family to create smiles that last a lifetime.

Contact the SOP team

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your child’s orthodontic needs, please contact our reception to schedule an appointment.

Contact SOP team