We all want our children to have a good start in life. We make sure they get their shots and maintain their schedule of pediatric doctor visits. We want them to meet all of their development milestones. It’s easy to forget that our children’s teeth – their health and the way they are growing in – are just as important as that other stuff.
At Leiker Orthodontics in Conroe, TX, your child is in good hands. We know that early treatment can do wonders for your child because of the fact that your child’s bones are still growing and changing.
It’s not always easy to know when your child might have an orthodontic problem without actually seeing an orthodontist. Dr. Brad Leiker is trained to find issues that could affect a child’s smile before the issue has time to become serious. He will come up with a comprehensive treatment plan.
When Should Your Child See Us?
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child receive an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven. At this age, major orthodontic problems can be identified and treated while some baby teeth are still present. Some orthodontic problems can be easily corrected when diagnosed and treated at an early age, preventing more expensive and complicated treatment down the road.
With early treatment, we can even guide the growth of your child’s jaw, avoiding further damage. This can fend off complications and help your child’s self-esteem at a time when it is becoming important. Early orthodontic treatment can also reduce (and sometimes eliminate) the need for full orthodontic treatment (braces) or surgery.
Your Child’s First Visit
When you and your child come in for your first appointment, you will be greeted by our friendly staff. We’ll give you a tour of our office (which will include a stop by our refreshment bar). We even have an arcade game room that can help your kids feel more at home.
Once we meet with you in the exam room, we’ll go over any concerns you may have. Then we’ll begin taking scans and 3D X-rays. Dr. Leiker will look over these scans before he meets with you and your child to recommend treatment options.
What Are Some Signs That Your Child Might Need Orthodontic Treatment?
According to the AAO, the following issues can be early warning signs that your child might need orthodontic intervention:
- Difficulty chewing
- Breathing through the mouth
- Open Bite
- Deep bite
- Early loss of baby teeth
- Late loss of baby teeth
- Sucking on fingers
- Crowded or misplaced teeth
- Difficulty speaking
- Shifting of the jaws
- Protruding or recessed jaws
- Biting the inside of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that don’t meet correctly or at all
- Facial imbalance or asymmetry
- Teeth grinding or clenching
We invite parents to make an appointment for their child’s first orthodontic exam at either our office in The Woodlands, TX or our Conroe, TX office. Dr. Leiker has received specialized training for treating your young ones.
One of the recommendations that Dr. Leiker might recommend are braces.
We offer several choices of braces types, depending on the need.
- Modern Metal Braces – Modern brackets are smaller and less noticeable than the notorious “metal-mouth” braces than many adults remember.
- Self-Ligating Braces – These are also made of metal but they use a special clip to ease bracket friction and move teeth faster.
- Clear Ceramic Braces – Using a clear, translucent material, ceramic braces are similar to self-ligating braces in how they work and improve comfort levels.
- Invisalign – These are clear, removable trays that shift teeth.
- Lingual Braces – These are an unobtrusive style of braces that are applied on the backside of your teeth.
Sometimes, if we see a malocclusion, we may recommend other orthodontic treatments first, such as:
- A palatal expander. This is used to create more room along the jaw for teeth.
- A trans-palatal expander. This is used to adjust the position of molars and/or the width of the arch. The appliance hooks into the mouth around the upper molars.
- Forsus springs to correct your overbite. Your child will likely wear these 6-8 months for the best results.
- A bad bite can lead to a TMJ disorder or teeth grinding (bruxism). Dr. Leiker can use the Roth Technique to bring your jaw back into proper alignment.