Early Treatment Can Give Your Child a Lifetime of Smiles

At Meyer & Dana Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer orthodontics for children. As a South Dakota or Wyoming parent, we know you want the best for your child, and that includes healthy teeth and a confident smile.

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Kids Should Get an Orthodontic Check-Up By 7

While our Meyer & Dana Orthodontics team can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time to begin treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists and our team of doctors recommend an initial orthodontic evaluation at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age seven years old.

Why so young? Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment.

By the age of seven, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships.

For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile!

This check-up at Meyer & Dana Orthodontics may reveal that your child's bite is fine, and braces for kids aren't necessary at this time.

At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant observation with our South Dakota and Wyoming orthodontic teams can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

What Is Early Treatment?

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

In some cases, our doctors can achieve results that may not be possible once your child’s face and jaws have finished growing.

Super kid-friendly

“The team is always willing to take the time to explain what they are doing and answer questions plus I’ve seen huge improvements in my kids’ teeth! The clinic is very clean, decorated very cool, and super kid friendly!” - Jamie R.

Choosing the Best Time for Treatment

While the age that kids get braces may vary, orthodontic treatment at Meyer & Dana Orthodontics often begins between 9 and 14, because some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they’re treated early.

If our team thinks your child will need treatment, we’ll let you know the best time to start 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

Signs the Bite's Not Right

It can be tough to tell when your child may need braces or has an orthodontic problem without a trained orthodontist like the team at Meyer & Dana Orthodontics. Even teeth that appear to be straight may be hiding a problem bite.

Here are some clues that may indicate the need for orthodontic attention at Meyer & Dana Orthodontics:

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

Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early evaluation lets your orthodontist give your child both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment.

Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later.

When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment include:

  • Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
  • Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
  • Correction of harmful habits, thumb sucking or nail-biting
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Preserving space for unerupted teeth
  • Reducing the need for tooth removal
  • Reducing treatment time with braces
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Learn More at Your Free Consultation

If your child has a dental issue, please contact us by setting up a free consultation at our office in Rapid City, Spearfish, Gillette, Buffalo, or Pierre.

We can talk about your child's orthodontic options and your orthodontist will create a treatment or observation plan customized to your child's needs at Meyer & Dana Orthodontics.