Child and Teen Treatments
Early orthodontic intervention has the potential to dramatically improve the long-term health and appearance of your child’s smile. We offer a range of solutions designed to address the unique needs of children and teens.
How do treatments and braces for kids work?
Our orthodontic treatments can take both a preventative and reactive approach to fix misaligned teeth in a child’s early or teen years. Functional appliances, retainers, and braces for kids all have the same objective - to reshape the appearance and function of your child’s teeth and smile, gently and gradually guiding them into proper alignment.
Personalised solutions for small smiles
Orthodontic treatment has the best results on young mouths. During the adolescent growth phase, typically from 10-13 years for girls and 11-15 years for boys, your child will normally have already developed all their adult teeth but will still be rapidly growing. Before and during this time, we can begin to detect possible issues such as crooked teeth, overbites, or gaps, and quickly correct these issues.
Types of braces for kids
- Invisalign® Teen: Uses a series of customised, nearly-invisible plastic trays to encourage proper tooth alignment.
- Metal braces: An affordable treatment that results in quick, long-lasting results for children with mild to severe misalignments.
- Ceramic braces: A discreet, tooth-coloured bracket for children that have only minor misalignments.
- Retainers: A custom-made appliance meant to be worn after treatment in order to promote a healthy, straight smile for years.
Types of functional appliances
- Palatal expander: A small removable twin block that sits at the top of the mouth and is used to widen the arch of the upper teeth.
- Bite plate: Another type of twin block that sits on the bottom part of the mouth and helps close any gaps between the lower teeth.
- Expanders: A device that puts pressure on the molars, widening the palate’s arch and creating more space in the mouth.
- Habit breakers: An appliance that is usually fitted over the teeth, making it difficult to suck on a thumb or tongue.
- Headgear: A lesser-used metal frame that is attached to the teeth and anchored to the back of the head with straps or bands.
FAQs about orthodontic treatment for kids and teens
How do I know if my child needs braces or orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic problems are often identified during routine dental check-ups, where your dentist or hygienist may recommend orthodontic intervention. The type of braces or treatment needed will depend largely upon the concerns identified during your child’s initial consultation and screening. During this visit, the orthodontist will order X-rays and perform a thorough oral examination. Any hidden concerns within the jaw or in the developing adult teeth can be identified. The treatment plan can be then formulated.
What are functional appliances?
Functional orthodontic appliances are either removable or fixed devices worn in the mouth to correct imbalances in the jaw and teeth. While traditional braces are perfect for treating straightforward cases of misalignment, functional appliances for children can be helpful for more complex issues. These appliances gently encourage the jaws to grow into the correct position, helping improve chewing, speech, and breathing problems.
In some cases, Dr Claire O’Sullivan may use functional appliances in conjunction with other treatments or braces for kids. However, we also frequently use them as a standalone treatment for specific conditions.
What are the benefits of braces for kids?
Early dental and orthodontic intervention can ensure your child has a winning smile, healthy teeth, and the self-confidence needed to achieve their goals. Some of the benefits of functional appliances or braces for kids include:
- Quicker treatment times
- Improved oral hygiene
- Prevention of cavities and the onset of gum disease
- Better jaw growth and spacing for erupting adult teeth
- Reduced risk of jaw joint damage and/or tooth extraction
- Reduced risk of injury to protruding front teeth
- Improved dental arch width
- Reduced risk of impacted adult teeth.
- Improved self-image and also self-confidence
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We welcome children as young as seven years old. Book an appointment to learn how we can help your child get the straightest, healthiest smile possible.Book now
Meet the team
Our team has over 20 years of experience transforming the smiles of young children and teens. Learn more about us here.Meet the team
Learn more about our early treatment options at Dublin Orthodontist.
Flexible, effective treatment for teens
Help your child get a straighter smile and boost their confidence during treatment.Learn more
Braces for kids
Traditional metal and ceramic braces
A proven, affordable way to fix mild to severe misalignments.Learn more