Every parent wants their child to look and feel their best, and an increasing number of children are undergoing orthodontic treatment to correct teeth alignment – not only for cosmetic reasons, but to address discomfort and other mouth issues caused by poorly aligned teeth.
Modern orthodontic treatments are best started at an early age. A child’s permanent teeth start to come through at around the age of 6 or 7 years, and this is when orthodontic problems tend to first be noticed. Even if you think your child’s teeth seem fine, it’s a good idea for them to see a children’s orthodontist to assess what treatments they might require – either now or in the future.
Interceptive orthodontics for children at The Dental Chambers Kensington
Orthodontic treatment in young children is known as “interceptive orthodontics”. This early intervention, while your child’s jaws and teeth are still developing, means that conditions such as teeth crowding are easier to correct. It helps “guide” the natural growth of your child’s jaws to make is as good as possible.
One approach is to expand a child’s upper dental arch to create more space. This often avoids the need to extract one or more permanent teeth later. Once all the permanent teeth have erupted, then braces help position them correctly.
Our children’s orthodontist at The Dental Chambers Kensington, has a specialist interest in working with young patients. With Dr Heintz, when your young child has interceptive orthodontic treatment, they will wear a “removable device” (i.e. not fixed to their teeth). This is custom made for your child following an impression (cast) of their jaws. To make wearing the device more fun and acceptable to her young patients, Dr Heintz asks them to choose their favourite colour, and they can also add glitters or little images to be embedded in their device.
Dr Heintz wants your child to be completely involved in their treatment so as to get the best result; they may even be given a special key to “activate” the expander themselves.
Dr Marie Heintz, our children’s orthodontist can help to:
- guide the growth of your child’s jaws
- regulate the width of their upper and lower dental arches
- reduce the risk of injury to protruding teeth
- eliminate thumb or finger sucking, which can lead to an open bite
- improve some speech problems
- Improve your child’s confidence in their personal appearance.
Children who receive interceptive orthodontics at a young age usually still need treatment with braces or a removable orthodontic appliance when they are older, but early intervention helps to shorten and simplify any later treatments. This is known as two-phase treatment. Our private orthodontics specialist can provide a full assessment to advise the best treatment approach for your child.
Braces for teens
The most widely used type of orthodontic appliance. They provide precise guidance to move your child’s teeth into the right place as quickly as possible.
Treatment with braces normally starts once all your child’s permanent (adult) teeth have erupted. Most of the time active treatment takes 18 to 24 months, with regular ‘tightening’ using thicker wires to achieve an ideal result. Your child will usually be seen every 4 to 6 weeks.
We offer a range of fixed braces for teens depending on their individual needs and your preferences. These options include conventional (metal) braces. We also offer the more discreet lingual rings which are placed at the back of the teeth so they are invisible. However these do work out more expensive.
While many parents worry that wearing braces will make their teen feel self-conscious, we find that many welcome joining the ‘braces club’ and actively look forward to having them! Nowadays, it is part of teenage years to wear braces.
Once active treatment with fixed braces is complete, a retainer is used in almost all cases, to help maintain the new, correct teeth alignment.
Where teeth alignment only needs minor adjustment, these smaller movements can be achieved using a removable ‘invisible’ appliance. The transparent aligners from Invisalign® are a relatively new way of correcting mild orthodontic problems. Transparent aligners are a clear, flexible plastic guard that fits closely over the teeth to correct mild crowding or mild gaps. A series of aligners are individually cast which move the teeth into place via a series of small steps. These invisible aligners are worn full-time, day and night, but taken out for eating.
Invisible removable aligners are usually most suitable for older teens and adults. Our children’s orthodontist can explain the pros and cons and explain which options are best for your child.
Visit our children’s orthodontist in London
Orthodontic treatment at The Dental Chambers Kensington is delivered by Dr Marie Heintz, who trained at the Faculty of Dental Surgery in Strasbourg, France. Together with Dr Lionel Friedmann, Dental Surgeon, they offer an extensive range of the highest quality dental services using the latest and most advanced technology. They have both been practising in London for several years.
To find out how our private orthodontics service can help your family, please telephone 020 7244 4200 for a confidential chat.