441 Joaquin Avenue Suite BSan Leandro, CA    CALL 510.352.2632    
Pediatric Dentistry
Early Orthodontic Treatment

Reliable Pediatric Orthodontist in San Leandro

Taking an early approach to your child's dental health can set their oral health up for long-term success. At San Leandro Pediatric Dentistry, we offer early pediatric orthodontic care to help deal with alignment or bite problems and prevent future complications, helping your child achieve a sustainable, healthy, and bright smile.

Our compassionate staff takes a warm, kid-friendly approach to help your child feel safe and comfortable in our office. We want our patients to have a positive experience to help them have healthy and long-lasting smiles. If you are looking for a pediatric orthodontist in San Leandro, schedule a visit with us today!


What Is Early Orthodontic Treatment?

Early orthodontic treatment can address dental alignment problems before a child has all their adult teeth. Treatment typically comes in two phases, with a rest period in between to allow for natural growth. The goal of pediatric orthodontic care is to help correct bite, jaw, and alignment issues while encouraging optimal development. With early intervention, an orthodontist can help make room for your child's permanent adult teeth and potentially reduce the need for extensive future treatment. Some of the other benefits of early orthodontic treatment include:

  • Helping correct harmful oral habits, so your child can bite and chew more effectively
  • Reducing or eliminating speech impediments caused by poor dental structure
  • Lowering the risk of injury due to protruding front teeth
  • Making it easier to maintain good oral hygiene, reducing the risk of disease and uneven wear
  • Boosting your child's confidence by having a healthy, aesthetically pleasing smile

How Do I Know If My Child Needs Early Treatment?

If your child's teeth are visibly misaligned by age six or seven, it is a good indicator that pediatric orthodontic intervention is needed. You should also pay attention to whether your child's dental alignment is negatively impacting their health, such as causing issues with chewing. However, sometimes misalignments may not be serious, or your child might have less obvious problems that a pediatric orthodontist can spot before they become a larger health issue.

We recommend taking the initiative by bringing your child in for an evaluation by the time they're seven years old. At this point, the orthodontist can examine your child's smile and better understand how it might develop. We can examine the smile both visually and below the surface to see how the teeth are developing, current health problems, and if there may be future concerns. Even if your child does not need any early intervention, you can have peace of mind knowing you're being proactive about their oral health.

Phase One of Pediatric Orthodontic Treatment

The goal of phase one is to create a strong foundation for your child's oral health development focusing on preparing the jaw for adult teeth and making later treatment easier. Because the jaw is still developing, the orthodontist can more easily guide it into a healthy, uniform shape. We will work closely with you and thoroughly examine your child's jaw to determine if treatment to improve dental alignment or jaw development is necessary. Depending on your child's unique needs, some dental appliances may be used during this treatment phase, such as:

Headgear: addresses bite issues

Space maintainers: placed between teeth to create more space, such as with crowded teeth

Palate expanders: gradually expand the palate to improve breathing and bite

Functional appliances: address a wide variety of alignment issues

Braces: typically limited to a few teeth if used at all during this phase

After phase one is complete, it is followed by a rest period. Rather than continuing treatment, which could cause impacted or displaced adult teeth, this allows for your child's permanent adult teeth to emerge and move naturally. During the resting phase, your child may still need to wear a retainer or other appliance and have regular visits to monitor their development.

Phase Two of Pediatric Orthodontic Treatment

Once all the adult teeth have emerged, we can begin the second phase of treatment, usually around age 11 or 12. Phase two aims to create the ideal alignment, including where teeth are located, how they face, bite alignment, and the aesthetics of your child's smile. The focus is on creating and sustaining healthy teeth and jaw alignment. Typically, this includes children's braces; however, the type and length of treatment during this phase depend on your child's unique needs and how well they maintain their oral health. Once this phase is complete, a retainer will help keep teeth in place.

Quality Pediatric Orthodontics in San Leandro

Your child's smile is a blueprint for their adult teeth, so alignment issues can make later treatment more difficult or even put the child's health at risk. San Leandro Pediatric Dentistry is passionate about providing quality care to support your child's developing oral health. By proactively caring for your child's orthodontic needs, they can enjoy a straighter, healthier smile. We are proud to offer quality pediatric orthodontic care to the San Leandro community and hope to meet you soon. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!