Preventing Tooth Decay To Maintain Healthy Teeth

2 Options Orthodontists Use To Treat Overcrowded Teeth

Braces are used to straighten and align teeth, and they are highly effective for most situations; however, there are times when additional steps are needed to completely straighten a child's teeth. If your child has teeth that seem overcrowded, he or she may need to go through one of the following steps in order for braces to straighten out the teeth.

Tooth Extraction

Overcrowded teeth is a common problem, and it is often a result of a small arch. The top teeth in your child's mouth make up the upper arch, while the bottom teeth make up the lower arch. If the arch is not large enough to fit all the teeth your child gets, the teeth will begin growing in crooked, tipped, or on top of each other.

The first method an orthodontist can use to fix this problem is tooth extraction. Removing some teeth will free up space in the arch, and this will give the teeth room to move. This may involve removing two teeth, one from each side, or it could involve removing more than that. Orthodontists will typically remove teeth in pairs if a child's mouth is overcrowded, and this means removing the same tooth from each side of the mouth.

Palate Expander

The other option an orthodontist might suggest for an overcrowded mouth involves the use of a palate expander. A palate expander is a retainer that is normally secured in the child's mouth. There are times when these are removable, but they are usually semi-permanent. The purpose of this retainer is to help enlarge the arch. The retainer will place pressure on the bone in the arch, and this will cause the bone to move over time.

This can be used to increase the size of an upper or lower arch, but it may take many months for this to happen. If it is working properly, you may begin to notice gaps in your child's teeth. This is normal and is a good sign. These gaps will be used later on when the child gets braces, and they will give the teeth enough room to move into the proper alignment.

Both of these methods are effective for overcrowded teeth, and an orthodontist can decide which option is better for your child. If you would like to begin orthodontic treatment for your child, you should schedule a consultation appointment with an orthodontist in your area today.