The topic of paediatric orthodontics- because the jawbone and teeth are still growing- is best understood when broken into different categories.
The earliest you can have orthodontic treatment is 6 years old. At this stage, the final teeth are not yet erupted, and the treatments are limited to ones that affect the growth of the jawbone. Usually removable devices, trainers and functional orthodontic devices are used to train the muscles and bones of the face.
Removable devices and trainers are only useful if they are used in accordance with the orthodontist’s recommendation, and that requires the patient’s full cooperation. This is why it is important that the orthodontist can make the child and the parents understand the importance and process of the treatment.
The situation does not become easier when there are mixed teeth in the mouth, which should end around age 12. Since there are both adult and milk teeth in the mouth at this point, many of the same techniques are used as with smaller children (removable devices, at night retainers and trainers).
The growth of the jawbone ends at around age 16-18, and their shape and size can only be changed minimally. Fixed appliances can be used to mobilize teeth. Teens often have social and emotional problems because of braces. This is why we offer transparent sapphire crystal brackets and tooth coloured porcelain brackets for our teen patients as well as for adults. Aesthetic and traditional braces both may need ligatures or “rubber bands”, and the colourful ones are very popular, especially among our female patients.
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