Douglas Peyton, DDS, MS | Des Moines Orthodontics  
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Orthodontics for Children


To have a healthy beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime, your child needs teeth and jaws that are properly aligned. Most patients begin orthodontic treatment between ages 9 and 16, but this varies depending on the needs of each individual. These years are often the optimal time to correct most orthodontic problems and achieve excellent results because teenagers are still growing.

Most orthodontic problems are inherited from our parents. Examples of these are crowding or spacing of the teeth, protruding upper teeth, extra or missing teeth, and some jaw growth problems.

Other problems are acquired or develop over time. These can be caused by thumb or finger sucking, abnormal swallowing, mouth breathing, poor dental hygiene and dental disease, accidents, and early or late loss of the baby teeth.

Orthodontic treatment for adolescents and teenagers usually includes placing braces on the teeth that need to be moved. "Braces" are a combination of the brackets that attach to each tooth and the archwire that connects to each bracket and produces the force to move and steer the teeth in the proper direction. It is really the archwires that move the teeth. The brackets and archwires have been engineered to provide three dimensional control of the tooth movement. In many cases, additional appliances are needed to help realign the jaw structures and help the upper and lower teeth fit together properly. Examples of these would include elastics (rubber bands), night time headgear wear, and palatal expanders.

As an alternative to braces, more and more teenagers are having orthodontic treatment with Invisalign™. The Invisalign system uses a series of clear, removable, and comfortable aligners to straighten teeth without attaching orthodontic brackets or wires. At the initial evaluation appointment, Dr. Peyton can advise you as to whether Invisalign would be an appropriate alternative to braces for your child's orthodontic treatment. You can learn more about Invisalign through our link to their website.

oines Orthodontics
  Des Moines Orthodontics
22221 7th Avenue South, Des Moines WA 98198
p: 206.824.8288
f: 206.824.3859
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