The majority of patients undergoing orthodontic care are children and teens. When kids are young, their jaws are constantly growing to accommodate new teeth. It is during this time that the teeth are easily moved, allowing for a shorter treatment time – especially in patients who undergo early treatment. Braces, retainers, and spacers are just some of the orthodontic appliances commonly used in children’s orthodontics. Although not all kids need orthodontic treatment, all kids need exams at an early age. Some signs that a child may eventually require orthodontic treatment include:
- Jaw is disproportionate to the face
- Has a habit of frequent thumb-sucking
- Chronically breathes from the mouth rather than the nose
- Primary teeth fall out too soon or too late
- Exhibits malocclusion (overbite/underbite)
- Visible crowding
Did you know?
that children should have their first orthodontic screening no later than age 7? This orthodontic evaluation is used to identify jaw irregularities and developmental complications that could indicate the need for orthodontic treatment in the future. Early screenings make it possible to get early treatment, with some children beginning progressive orthodontic treatments as early as age 7.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to bring my child to an orthodontist?
If your child is at least 7 years old or is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Your child’s orthodontist can take steps to correct a bad bite, fill in gaps, and straighten the teeth all before your child reaches the teen years.
What should I expect at my child’s first orthodontist appointment?
Your child’s first orthodontic screening will include a visual examination as well as maxillofacial x-rays. Your child’s orthodontist may also ask you questions about your child’s habits, such as thumb and finger-sucking. Based on the results of this analysis, the orthodontist will discuss options and timeframes for treatment if applicable.
Will I need to follow any special instructions if my child is fitted for a dental appliance?
Yes. If your child is fitted for a fixed orthodontic appliance, such as braces, you will need to follow careful instructions to ensure the device is not damaged or broken. This includes monitoring your child’s diet to ensure it does not include hard foods, candies, popcorn kernels, or anything else that could cause damage. You’ll also need to ensure your child properly brushings and flosses around the appliance to protect the teeth from decay during treatment.
About Dr. Ben Salar
Dr. Salar grew up in Los Angeles, California. After earning his bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from UC Berkeley, he attended Temple University School of Dentistry where he earned his dental degree. Immediately after graduating, he attended the prestigious NYU/Bellevue hospital program where he received his specialty certificate in pediatric dentistry.
Upon finishing his education, Dr. Salar moved to the Great Sierra Nevada area where he has since served infants, children and adolescents in the local community. Although Dr. Salar emphasizes preventive dental care, conservative dentistry and home maintenance, his extensive sedation and surgical experience in performing full mouth oral rehabilitation has established him as the go to pediatric dentist for children requiring advanced complex treatment plans, special needs, anxiety and systemic health conditions.
With a cheerful demeanor and the intention of making sure ALL kids receive equal top notch treatment, Dr. Salar looks forward to serving his patients and their families with kindness and compassion.
About Dr. Eric Davis
Dr. Davis grew up in Dallas, Texas and completed his undergraduate work in Mechanical Engineering at BYU. As an avid aviator since high school, Dr. Davis began a flying career with Continental Airlines at a young age. However, Dr. Davis had an overwhelming desire to help people, so he left the airlines for a career in health care. He soon entered and graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, School of Dental Medicine with a Doctorate degree in Dental Medicine. During dental school, Dr. Davis had a strong desire to continue his education by specializing in Orthodontics. He then began a 3 year residency in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. There he received his certificate in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics and completed a Master of Science in Oral Biology.
Dr. Davis specializes in early treatment for children as well as interdisciplinary adult care. He takes an active role in meeting and exceeding the standards of his profession by consistently taking classes to be on the cutting edge of patient care and treatment options. He is strongly committed to his community where he has volunteered on a Cleft Lip/Palate and Craniofacial Team.
Dr. Davis is committed to the highest level of patient care providing prompt, friendly, and courteous service by a knowledgeable and highly trained team. Each patient is treated as an individual with a unique treatment plan designed for his or her specific needs. Dr. Davis works closely with an advanced team of dental specialists to make certain that all aspects of the patient’s oral heath care are addressed appropriately.
Dr. Davis is an avid aviator and wakeboarder. You will usually find him around “anything with a big engine and goes fast.” This includes hiking, riding quads and motorcycles, spending time outdoors but most importantly his family. He currently resides in Las Vegas. If you have questions or are considering Orthodontic Treatment, call or email us to arrange a free consultation with Dr. Davis.