Children and Teenagers
The first question to ask for children and teenagers is: When is the right time to start a treatment? The answer is different for every child, and it depends on the type of misalignment, the second dentition, the gender and the physical growth of the patient.
The gap between the incisors, which can be caused by thumb sucking, is called an “open bite”. This can be treated as early as age three. The typical treatment for this is a vestibular plate that is worn at night.
A jaw that’s too narrow or too small is often the cause for a cross bite, which can occur in the incisor or molar area. The best time to start treatment for this is between ages six and eight.
For girls, most treatments start just before they reach puberty, around age nine. Boys usually get their braces between ages ten and twelve because their major growth period kicks in about two years later.
Please do not wait with the treatment until your child has lost all their baby teeth! The optimal point in time to start treatment is often earlier!
Between ages nine and twelve removable braces are a popular choice of treatment. They come in one or two pieces and can be worn in the afternoon or at night. Examples for these are orthodontic plates, as well as the “Aktivator” or the “Bionator”.
Additionally, from about age twelve, when all permanent teeth have grown, misalignments can be adjusted with fixed braces, which have especially good treatment results. The patient can request certain extras, such as tooth-coloured brackets or colourful rubber bands.
When the treatment has reached the desired effect, the teeth need to be stabilized for at least two more years so they do not return to their original malposition. The conscientious use of removable braces can accomplish this.
A more efficient and comfortable solution is the fixation of a stabilizing wire to the back of the incisors. This is called a “retainer”. It should stay in place for many years even after the treatment has officially ended.
This way, the retainer guarantees a long-lasting result of the treatment.