4 Treatment Alternatives for Teeth Crowding in Children

Your child’s milk teeth start falling out at around six to seven years old and are replaced by permanent teeth. The permanent teeth are a bit bigger compared to the milk teeth, and at times, your child’s jaw might not have enough room for the proper growth of the teeth. This is commonly a consequence of the premature loss of milk teeth and the absence of a space maintainer for the gap left. This causes the jaw to shrink, hence leaving less space for the growth of permanent teeth.

Most parents do not see a pediatric dentist based in Lehi for their children’s crowded teeth. They assume that this is not a serious issue provided that the teeth are causing no apparent problems. Crowded teeth, however, are difficult to clean, and it will be the primary cause of gum disease and dental decay in the future. Moreover, crowded teeth will affect your child’s confidence and their chewing ability. In addition, it will cause abnormal wear of the teeth’s edges. To prevent these consequences, here are some of the treatment alternatives that pediatric dentists might offer for crowded teeth in children.

Palatal Expanders

Palatal expanders are used to widen a child’s upper jaw. They are generally used for kids below 16 years old since the cartilage and bones are still soft at this age and can rapidly adjust to the movement caused by the appliances. The most common type of palatal expander is the rapid palatal expander, which is attached to a patient’s upper molars using cemented bands or bonding resin. The appliance comes with a key that is used to widen its space at certain points during treatment and widen the jaw. Initially, there might be some minor discomfort with the device, but this resolves as the treatment progresses.

Braces

Braces are the conventional alternative for fixing crowded teeth. They are designed for the movement of your child’s teeth into their correct positions. The two primary braces used by kids nowadays are metal and ceramic braces. The metal braces achieve results faster than the ceramic ones though they are conspicuous. Ceramic braces are generally chosen for their discrete nature. After the braces are removed, retainers are used for some time to hold the child’s teeth in their proper positions.

dental braces - lingual braces, before and after

Invisalign Teen

Invisalign Teen is a set of clear removable plastic braces. Though they move teeth into their correct positions slower than conventional braces, they are discrete, hence causing higher treatment compliance rates among teenagers. Moreover, it is easier for teenagers to comply with the strict regimen of removing, cleaning, and fixing them.

Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction is generally performed for teeth that are excessively crowded. In this case, the dentist pulls out a few teeth to make space on the jaw for the proper alignment of the other teeth left. Tooth extraction is often done before the application of braces so that the remaining teeth are moved into their correct positions.

It is never too early for your child to get the above treatments for crowded teeth. Treatment is faster, cheaper, and more effective when done in childhood than in adulthood. Routine dental visits are essential to pick the need for interventions for crowded teeth early and act accordingly.

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