KIDS/CHILDREN’S ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT IN LOS ANGELES – CHILDRENS ORTHODONTIST
Dr. David Alpan & Associates, specialize in the growth & development of the teeth, jaws and face. Orthodontics is the specialty that treats crooked, teeth, bad bites, uneven or asymmetric jaws or faces. Controlling the position of the hard tissues (bone and teeth), will have an effect on the soft tissue of the face (Facial appearance). Orthodontics can improve most tooth and jaw alignment problems at any age, but the American Association of Orthodontists and Dr. Alpan recommends that children see an orthodontist no later than age seven. Treating a Jaw growth problem is much easier and less painful while growing then after growth is complete. The stability of teeth and smile are always more stable when an individual grows into the changes Vs. making the changes after growth. Phase I treatment is highly recommended by Dr. Alpan when needed to prevent irregularities in facial and dental development.
Early treatment, also called Phase I, may prevent or intercept more serious problems (like Jaw Surgery) from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated (reduce the need for Extractions of adult teeth). Phase I is not for every child, there needs to be specific concerns to solve or it may be best to wait until all the adult teeth are in the mouth. Since 1999, Dr. Alpan has been able to achieve results that are not possible once the face and jaws have finished growing. Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age, even before all permanent teeth have erupted. Dr. Alpan recommends starting Phase I, when all four front adult teeth have fully erupted (usually age 7). At AO we offer a no charge Phase I orthodontic evaluation, to help you giving your child the best opportunity for a healthy and beautiful smile. Dr. Alpan says, “The sooner your child corrects their teeth and bite problems, the easier it is to brush and floss.” The easier is it to keep clean, the less likely your child will develop cavities and other dental issues.
With early orthodontic evaluations and treatment, Dr. Alpan and Associates will be able to:
- Guide, limit and develop jaw growth
- Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- Correct harmful oral habits – Like sucking the thumb etc.
- Improve appearance of face and profile
- Correct Crossbites that can lead to facial asymmetric growth and possibly Jaw Surgery
- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position to reduce crowding and more need for treatment as one gets older – reduces the need for extractions
- Create a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips and face
- Reduce the need for further treatment when patients are older – improved Oral Hygiene
- Straight teeth are much easier to keep clean and maintained
Treatment at a young age, 7-9 years old, usually takes 12-18 months with a variety of appliances. Based on the individual needs we are wanting to improve, we may use various devices to correct those problems. Dr. Alpan and his team will discuss all the treatment options available with you to provide the best care and treatment overall for your child.
We also encourage you to read our Tips to Help Your Child Get Ready for Braces page to find out how you as a parent can ease your child’s transition into orthodontic treatment. We also include a Patient Care Guide written by Dr. Alpan on how to be successful with your orthodontic treatment. This guide will give you helpful hints on what to do while in treatment.
At Alpan Orthodontics, we offer several treatment options for kids:
Rapid Palatal Expander
A Rapid Palatal Expander is used to widen the Upper dental arches. Typically we don’t use RPE’s for the Lower arch, but expanders can be used to create space on the lower arch.
RPE’s are custom made devices to fit on the inside of the teeth and widen the roof of the mouth, to correct crossbites and make room for crowded teeth to grow in naturally. RPE’s can be used to expand the upper jaw to fit more closely with the lower jaw and used in conjunction with Reverse Pull Headgear.
Removable Dentofacial-Orthopedic Appliances
These appliances are designed to redirect jaw growth. Correct front to back jaw problems (bucked teeth with a small lower jaw or a large lower jaw) or facial asymmetric growth (crooked lower jaw). Examples: Bionators, Functional Appliances, Neck or Head gears, Reverse Pull Headgear, Chin cups
When Dr. Alpan attended The Early Treatment Symposium held by the American Association of Orthodontist, where all the greatest minds in Orthodontics met for this conference. The one device that all doctors agreed on for early treatment and help with Phase I treatment. The design of the LLA is to fit on the inside of the lower teeth, from molar to molar, as a space maintainer or to help develop the lower arch and improve some minor crowding.
Braces (Mx 2×4)
Traditional Metal braces may be placed on the upper front teeth to solve a variety of issues including crowding, spacing, crossbites, misaligned jaws, crooked smiles, extra teeth, missing adult teeth etc….. The traditional metal braces AO uses for Phase I treatment are called Metal Mini Twins, made by Ormco (the leading orthodontic manufacturing and research company). Our children love to change the colors on their braces at each appt. Phase I treatment, Maxillary 2×4 includes, bonding brackets on the front four teeth and on the back 2 molars. So, there are 4 brackets in the front and 2 bands on the back molars, thus called a 2×4 appliance. After we measure the width of the adult teeth on the X-ray we can plan to make room for all the adult teeth, so we can prevent the need for Extraction of permanent teeth when the full set of braces may go on (roughly around age 12).
Invisalign for kids or teens
Since 2010 Dr. Alpan has been helping young actors and actresses with their smiles. Either before they start their career or well into it, there is nothing more dramatic then a perfect set of teeth in a smile on camera or on stage. Your child’s smile says a lot about them and can have a significant impact on whether your child gets that role in that part or not. If you are interested in having your child’s teeth and smile improved without anyone knowing they are in treatment, we may want to consider Invisalign for kids. Dr. Alpan has found that discipline kids can have equal success with Invisalign as they can with braces. There are less negative side effects with Invisalign and there is less sensitivity and no emergencies. Your child will not have to change his or her diets, and will spend the same amount of time brushing as with no braces. There are lots of advantages to kids or teens invisalign, call us today to set up a free consultation.