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Galway Dentists

Orthodontic Treatments for Kids and Teens ?

At Galway Dentists, we specialise in providing orthodontic care for children and teenagers. Malpositioned teeth, a common issue among young individuals, can affect everything from self-esteem to eating habits. Our clinic offers a range of solutions to address dental concerns such as crooked, gapped, or impacted teeth, ensuring your child’s smile is healthy and beautiful.

Early treatment is essential, as it produces better results, fuller facial growth, and a later treatment time.

Interestingly, nearly one in four Irish teenagers (23%) have had at least one orthodontic treatment by age 15. The figure could be higher because the study only included orthodontic treatments provided by the Irish Public Health

Orthodontic Treatments for Kids and Teens Galway
What to expect

Who Can Benefit from Orthodontic Treatments for Kids and Teens?

Orthodontic treatments in children and adolescents are similar to those in adults. They focus on correcting teeth positioning, alignment, and spacing in relation to the jaw and facial structure. In Ireland, nearly one in four teenagers receive orthodontic care by age 15, highlighting the prevalence and importance of these treatments.


of Irish Kids have had Orthodontic Treatment by the age of 15
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Orthodontic Treatments for Kids and Teens
Orthodontic Treatments for Kids and Teens
Orthodontic Treatments for Kids and Teens

Warning Signs that your Child might need Orthodontic Treatment:

  • Difficulty Chewing or Biting: If your child frequently bites their cheek or roof of the mouth, or if they have difficulty biting and chewing food, it might be due to a misalignment of the teeth or jaws.
  • Crowded, Misplaced, or Blocked Teeth: Overlapping, crowded, or teeth that are noticeably out of position are clear signs that orthodontic treatment is needed.
  • Jaws that Shift or Make Sounds: Any noticeable shift in the jaw when your child opens or closes their mouth, or any sounds like popping or clicking, could suggest a jaw issue that orthodontics can help correct.
  • Biting the Cheek or Roof of the Mouth: Frequent biting of the cheek or the roof of the mouth can be a sign of misaligned teeth.
  • Teeth that Meet Abnormally or Not at All: If your child’s teeth don’t come together in a normal manner or if there are gaps when the jaws are closed, this could be a sign of bite problems.
  • Jaws and Teeth that are Out of Proportion to the Rest of the Face: If you notice that your child’s teeth or jaws seem disproportionately large or small compared to their face, this could be a sign that orthodontic treatment is necessary.
  • Difficulty Speaking: If your child has trouble speaking or mispronounces words due to their dental alignment, orthodontics might be recommended to improve their speech.
  • Thumb or Finger Sucking: If your child continues to suck their thumb or fingers past the typical age, this can lead to misalignment of the teeth.
  • Teeth Grinding or Clenching: These habits can indicate a bite issue and may lead to other dental problems that orthodontic treatment can address.

Types of Orthodontic Treatments for Your Kids and Teens For

  • Dental Braces: These orthodontic appliances, crafted from either metal or ceramic materials, are employed to rectify misalignments in teeth positioning and bite irregularities. A considerable number of adolescents opt for ceramic braces due to their subtler, more natural appearance that blends in with the enamel.

  • Clear Aligners: Ideal for addressing mild to moderate orthodontic concerns, clear aligners offer a less conspicuous alternative to traditional braces. They work by incrementally adjusting the teeth’s position over time, and their removability allows for greater ease during eating and oral hygiene routines.

  • Palate Expanders: Utilised primarily in younger children, palate expanders are instrumental in widening an underdeveloped or narrow jaw. This early intervention can be pivotal in averting potential issues such as dental crowding and bite misalignments, thus laying the groundwork for a healthier oral structure as the child matures.

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  • Mon-Fri: 8:30 AM – 5 PM
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed

How Can Orthodontic Treatments Benefit Kids and Teens?

Orthodontic treatments help straighten teeth and spacing issues. But there are many more benefits of orthodontic treatment for your kids? 

  • Protection against teeth wear and trauma
  • Easier oral hygiene due to correctly positioned teeth
  • Reduced risk of gum disease
  • Improved chewing and digestion
  • Enhanced self-esteem and social interaction

Frequently asked questions

The ideal age for orthodontic treatment can vary, but it’s often recommended to begin around the ages of 7 to 14. This range is considered optimal for several reasons:

Mixed Dentition Phase: Around age 7, children have a mix of baby (primary) and adult (permanent) teeth. This stage, the mixed dentition phase, allows orthodontists to diagnose and potentially intercept the development of orthodontic problems early.

Growth and Development: During the early teenage years, the jaw and facial bones are still growing, making it easier to address and correct orthodontic issues like crowding or malocclusions (bad bites). Treatments can be more effective and sometimes quicker during this period of growth.

Permanent Teeth Eruption: By age 12 to 14, most permanent teeth have usually erupted. This allows orthodontists to correct alignment issues effectively.

However, it’s important to note that orthodontic treatment is not limited to children and teenagers. Adults can also undergo orthodontic treatment, although the process may be slightly longer due to the maturity of the jaw and facial bones. The key to successful orthodontic treatment is a thorough evaluation by a qualified orthodontist, who can recommend the best course of action based on individual needs and the specific stage of dental development.

The best orthodontic treatment for kids and teens depends on the specific dental issues they are facing and the severity of those issues. Here’s a brief overview of common orthodontic treatments suitable for children and adolescents:

Traditional Metal Braces: These are the most common braces for children and teens. They are highly effective for correcting a wide range of orthodontic problems, including severe malocclusions.

Ceramic Braces: Similar to metal braces in function, ceramic braces have tooth-coloured or clear brackets that blend in with the teeth, making them less noticeable. They are popular among older teens who are conscious of their appearance.

Palatal Expanders: For children whose jaws are too narrow to accommodate all of their teeth, a palatal expander can widen the upper jaw so that the teeth can fit properly. This is often used before braces are applied.

Removable Appliances These include devices like retainers or aligner trays that can correct minor problems or maintain the position of teeth after braces have been removed.

Invisible Aligners: This is a series of clear, removable aligners that are popular with teens who want a less visible form of treatment. However, they require discipline to wear as directed and are best suited for mild to moderate alignment issues.

Space Maintainers: If a child loses a baby tooth early, a space maintainer can keep the space open until the permanent tooth emerges, preventing other teeth from shifting into the space and causing alignment issues.

It’s crucial to have a thorough consultation with our orthodontist to determine the best course of action for your child or teen. The orthodontist will consider factors such as the stage of dental development, the complexity of the correction needed, and the child’s compliance with treatment. Early intervention, known as Phase 1 orthodontics, can often address issues before they become more complicated, while Phase 2 orthodontics typically occurs during the teen years when most or all permanent teeth have erupted.

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  • I've been going to Dr.Michael Donnolly since last October. Very Friendly and reassuring. I'm extremely nervous in the dentist and he made me feel very calm. All staff very nice and professional!

    Rachel Duffy Avatar Rachel Duffy
    January 19, 2018
  • Excellent and very professional dental care. Dentist put me at ease and talked me through the procedure. Would definitely recommend to others.

    Ciara Mc Bride Avatar Ciara Mc Bride
    January 19, 2016
  • All I can say about Dr. Eilis is just ... waow!! talk about painless!! had to get two fillings replaced as they were chipped and a new filling and couldn't even feel the numbing injections and the fillings themselves were effortless! delighted with the result after years of painfull dental work I now have completely changed my mind about going to the dentist and have no fear! Highly recommend this practice especially if you are nervous!

    Rebekah Guerin Avatar Rebekah Guerin
    January 19, 2019
  • Very good! Thank you very much

    Chris Zalwertл Avatar Chris Zalwertл
    January 19, 2018

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