Early Orthodontic Treatment

ChildTreatmentAt Elite Smiles Chastain in Atlanta, GA, our expert orthodontists, and staff know the importance of your child’s first orthodontic exam! Orthodontics play a huge role in your child’s appearance and health, even before adult teeth begin to form. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, a professional orthodontist at Elite Smiles Chastain should examine your child’s teeth before they are seven years old! Our expert pediatric orthodontists are trained to accurately identify bite issues at an early age, preventing your son or daughter from misaligned teeth later in life. 

Although your child’s teeth may look straight, there could potentially be underlying problems with the way their adult teeth will erupt. A misaligned bite, a bad relationship between the upper and lower jaw, unordinary tooth crowding, or problems caused by non-nutritive habits can lead to major orthodontic issues after your child’s baby teeth are replaced by their adult teeth. Your Atlanta, GA area orthodontists at Elite Smiles can help to identify these issues right off the bat, ensuring that they will be corrected by the time your child’s teeth are fully developed. 

Our Area of Expertise for Pediatric Dentistry

Most early treatments require 6 to 10 months with fixed appliances. In almost all cases, braces are not required during this stage. A second stage is usually required around 12 years of age, with complete braces for ideal alignment. This second phase of treatment is easier, shorter, and achieves better results without having to remove permanent teeth.


Advantages of Early Treatment at Elite Smiles Chastain

  1. All appliances are custom fit for comfort.
  2. Precise diagnosis using the latest 3D technology combined with the experience of more than 12,000 smiling faces treated.
  3. Your child will be seen by the doctor at each appointment.
  4. Elite Smiles Chastain uses only fixed appliances, so there is nothing removable to lose.
  5. Your Orthodontist will make all adjustments at the office, nothing for you to turn or adjust at home.
  6. Most early treatments are 6 to 10 months in length, with no braces necessary. 
  7. Early treatment is designed to make skeletal changes which are the cause of most issues we treat (For example, crowded teeth are caused by small jaws not too many teeth)
  8. Airway enhancement.

Orthodontic Exam At Age 7 At Your Atlanta, GA Pediatric Dentistry 

The transition from your child’s baby teeth to their permanent teeth is extremely important. Baby teeth establish the foundation for your child’s adult teeth, guiding them into their proper positions. As baby teeth are the building blocks for a healthy smile, it’s detrimentally important for Dr. Powell to examine your child’s mouth while they still have their initial baby teeth in place. Their baby teeth may look perfectly fine, but there could be underlying structural problems waiting to show. With the help of one panoramic x-ray, our team can identify if your child is naturally missing any adult teeth, as well as identify deviations from normal tooth eruption, which may lead to complications down the road. 
The primary goal of early orthodontic treatment at Elite Smiles Chastain is to correct the orthodontic issue at hand in the shortest amount of time possible, periodically evaluating the need for braces later in your child’s early teen years.

Symptoms Of Underlying Issues 

Oftentimes, a child’s behavior may indicate that an orthodontic examination at Elite Smiles Chastain is in order. Here is a list of major symptoms that may occur, signaling that it’s time for a visit to your Atlanta, GA orthodontist: 

  • The loss of baby teeth too early, or too late
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Breathing primarily through their mouth
  • Sucking their thumb too long 
  • Has crowded, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
  • Has a jaw that shifts, or makes noises while moving
  • Difficulty speaking 
  • Frequent biting of the cheeks 
  • Facial imbalances
  • Grinds or clenches teeth 
  • Large, or uneven spaces between teeth

  • Crossbite of Back Teeth

    Crossbite can occur in the front and/or the sides of the mouth. One or more upper teeth bite on the inside of the lower teeth. This can occur with a single tooth or multiple teeth. Notice how the upper jaw can widen with this treatment.


    Notice how the upper jaw can widen with this treatment.

    Open Bite Phase I

    Open bite is a condition in which either the front teeth or the back teeth do not make contact. It is caused by oral habits such as tongue thrust, finger sucking or when the jaws don't grow evenly.



    Crowding Phase I

    Crowding is the lack of space for all the teeth to fit normally within the jaws. The teeth may be twisted or displaced. Crowding occurs when there is disharmony in the tooth to jaw size relationship or when the teeth are larger than the available space. Crowding can be caused by the improper eruption of teeth and early or late loss of primary teeth.



    Large Overbites (Phase I)

    Overbites are when the upper front teeth protrude. The most common dental accident to occur at this age is to fall and fracture these protruded upper front teeth.



    Underbites (Phase I)

    Underbites are when upper front teeth bite behind the lower front teeth.



    Phase I and Phase II


    This patient had an overbite and was crowded on the upper and lower. We created more room for the adult teeth in the Phase I treatment.


    The same patient was treated with Phase II. He presented with an overbite on the left. He was treated using braces and TADS. The expansion in Phase I created room for the teeth and allowed self alignment. At the end of Phase II, both the overbite and Class II on the left were corrected.

    Pediatric Airway Orthodontics



    What is OSA?


    OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) is defined as repeated episodes of partial or complete blockage of the upper airway during sleep. Simply put, air is not clearing through the throat to get to the lungs to provide oxygen to the red blood cells. Since these cells are then not fully oxygenated, the brain and body do not receive enough oxygen to build and repair. In a growing child, who hopefully sleeps 10-12 hours a day, OSA can result in a child’s body not functioning optimally due to lack of sufficient oxygen. Sleep apnea has been documented to cause cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, neurocognition, and lipid regulation disease, as well as ADHA and a host of behavioral issues.
    Below is a video of a pediatric patient with OSA sleeping through the night. This child will take a breath approximately every 20 seconds. Normally, it is less than ten seconds. Between breaths, the airway is blocked so the chest will move but no air is cleared through the throat to the lungs!

    Our Treatment Process

    Orthodontic researchers are discovering a correlation between airway development and the shape of the jaws. For instance, multiple studies have found that a patient with a narrow upper jaw has 25% more airway resistance than the same patient after the jaw is widened. 
    If the lower jaw is widened or moved forward, the tongue moves forward with it, which increases the posterior airway. If widening the jaw improves airflow, then decreasing the jaw width can decrease the airflow; which is why Dr. Sebastian and Dr. Powell recommend early non-extraction (not removing teeth) treatments!



    These photos show the upper jaw before expansion (left) and upper jaw after expansion (right).


    Contact Your Atlanta, GA Pediatric Orthodontist Today!

    Early orthodontic consultations determine the extent of your child’s orthodontic needs, allowing Dr. Powell and our team to identify problems that can affect ideal dental health, and pinpoint structural issues that may lead to aesthetic discrepancies. Your child’s smile is critically important to their confidence, and to all of our staff here at Elite Smiles Chastain in Atlanta, GA. If your child is experiencing symptoms of underlying orthodontic issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. Your child’s orthodontic well-being is important to us, so don’t wait until it’s too late!

    Elite Smiles Chastain

    91 W. Wieuca Rd., Suite 300 • Atlanta, GA 30342Orthodontics: 404.303.7400 • Pediatric Dentistry: 404.252.5900

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