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Orthodontics for Children

Properly aligned smiles affect even the youngest patients' health and confidence. The American Association of Orthodontists® recommends that children visit an orthodontist no later than age seven to ensure their teeth and jaw are developing properly. At this time, the permanent teeth are erupting and the bones are still growing, making their smile more malleable. Drs. David C. Spokane and Melissa Karski offer a combination of palatal expanders, orthopedic devices, and limited braces for kids to correct your child's dentition and help them avoid more extensive treatment in the future. We are also the only practice in the Beaver Falls, PA, area, including the counties of Beaver, Butler, and Lawrence, whose doctors can treat children as young as preschool-age for more serious concerns. 

Smiling girl holding retainers

Early Orthodontic Intervention

Since children's mouths and jaws are still developing, early intervention can often reduce total treatment time and produce better overall results. 

Why Choose Early Treatment?

If your child is having difficulty enunciating properly or struggling to chew food comfortably, a visit to an orthodontist can help.

Early treatment is designed to improve the relationship between your child's teeth and jaws and reduce the likelihood of more serious complications later in life. During your visit, the orthodontist can carefully examine your child's bite and assess any habits that may be interfering with the development of their smile. Drs. Spokane and Karski can detect subtle skeletal issues that can impact your child's dental function and recommend treatment that will improve the foundation of their smile.

Often, the results of the free initial consult will not result in any detectable problems. The child will then continue to be seen yearly, at no charge, to monitor their growth and development, preventing any issues from arising as permanent teeth erupt.

When to Schedule a Visit

We recommend that you schedule a consultation for your youngster prior to age seven if they have skeletal issues or other concerns such as:

  • Cross bite
  • Narrow upper jaw
  • A severe thumb sucking habit
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Underbite
  • Overbite
  • Speech concerns
  • Missing teeth

You may also wish to visit our office if your child is exhibiting difficulty enunciating properly, or struggling to chew food comfortably.

What We Can Do

Using a variety of orthodontic techniques and devices, Drs. Karski and Spokane can correct both functional and aesthetic issues. A thumb wire can help your child overcome thumb sucking, and limited braces can correct the projection of protruding teeth. An expansion device can be used to widen the jaw and correct an open bite, which can reduce tongue thrusting. This type of appliance can also treat width or vertical jaw issues, an imbalance between the upper and lower jaw, and speech concerns. If your child has lost teeth early, we may place space maintainers to hold the arches in place and encourage permanent teeth to erupt properly.

Staged Treatment for Optimal Results

For some patients, orthodontic treatment is more effective if it is divided into two phases.

Phase One

The goal of phase one treatment is to create a strong, healthy foundation. We can use various methods, such as expansion devices or limited braces, to ensure the patient's jaw develops in a way that will accommodate all the permanent teeth. This can help your child avoid the need avoid the need for braces or treatment later and/or to prevent future complications like extractions or jaw surgery, as well as ensure a better overall outcome.

Phase Two

Phase two treatment involves making sure each tooth is in its proper position and exists in harmony with the lips, tongue, cheek, and neighboring teeth. This typically includes a full set of braces. Patients who have undergone phase one treatment can often experience shorter, less extensive treatment in phase two.

Protect Your Child's Smile

If your child is experiencing orthodontic issues, or you simply wish to learn more about your child's options, we encourage you to schedule a complimentary consultation at our office. We can perform a full examination and help you understand your child's current and future oral health needs. Call the location nearest you or contact us online anytime.

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I can't say enough wonderful things about Dr. Spokane and his Staff. It has always been a great experience... I have never or would ever consider going anywhere else.

-Yee Y.