Treatments & Services
Early Orthodontic Treatment
There is no set age when children require orthodontics. The treatment plan will depend on individual needs. For example, kids with cleft palates get orthodontic appliances before their first teeth erupt.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children receive an orthodontic evaluation no later than 7 years old.
An experienced orthodontist, such as Dr. Hakim, can identify problems in the way that the face, jaw and teeth are developing in children sometimes as young as 2 or 3 years old. Dr. Hakim pays special attention to the airway and the effect that it could have on growth and development of jaw, and the possible relationship with snoring and sleep apnea.
Early detection and treatment may prevent serious problems from developing and achieve results that may have required surgery once the face and jaws are finished growing.
With a unique orthospaceship setting, our West Hollywood office offers patients an exceptional orthodontic experience. We aim to create a kid friendly, fun, comfortable and welcoming environment. Read on below for more information about early orthodontic treatment.
Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment which will ensure the best results and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child’s first orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but early examinations can help anticipate the best time to begin treatment.
Dr. Hakim provides early evaluation in the hopes of detecting problems early and providing greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Dr. Hakim pays special attention to the airway and the effect that it could have on growth and development of jaw, and the possible relationship with snoring and sleep apnea. If orthodontic intervention is not necessary, Dr. Hakim will carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.
By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt and establish the back bite. During this time, Dr. Hakim can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side relationships of the teeth. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for a healthy and beautiful smile.
- Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:
- Opening the airway, thereby correcting mouth breathing habits.
- Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserving space for unerupted teeth
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing treatment time with braces
Orthodontics is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems:
- Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
- Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping.
- Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear.
- Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments.
Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile – it creates a healthier you.
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