Braces for Children

Change Your Smile and Change Your Life!

The Wisdom of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Whether you think your child needs corrective dental work now or later, it is highly advisable to consult with a licensed, competent orthodontist before all your child’s baby teeth fall off. According to studies, many orthodontic problems among children are easier to correct before all permanent teeth have erupted.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children undergo an initial dental examination by age 6 or 7 – the time when most children still have their baby teeth and have yet to grow in some molars (back teeth) and incisors (front teeth).

An initial dental assessment will enable an orthodontist to check for early signs of crooked, spaced or crowded teeth, bite problems or misaligned jaws. Progression of teeth emergence, shifts in teeth movements and changes in bite patterns will be monitored and recorded. All these data will help an orthodontist formulate an effective, customized treatment program for your child’s specific dental condition.

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Dr. Michael Larson

Monday: 9:00am-5:00pm 
Tuesday: 9:00am-5:00pm 
Wednesday: 8:00am-4:00pm 
Thursday: 8:00am-4:00pm 
Friday: 8:00am-12:00

(530) 674-5047

Benefits of Early Treatment

Braces for Children

Some parents think that unless their child’s dental problems have become too noticeable or have yet to evolve into the “most whined about topic” at the dinner table, scheduling an early trip to an orthodontist should not be on the immediate agenda. The following advantages of early intervention treatment would convince them otherwise.

Faster, Easier Correction of Dental Problems.

Early detection of possible problems such as teeth overcrowding and bite issues will give a clearer prognosis of how a child’s jaw will grow, as well as how permanent teeth will emerge and develop. This will enable an orthodontist to develop a suitable treatment program that will correct dental problems quickly and easily.

Early Remedy For Harmful Habits

Early detection of possible problems such as teeth overcrowding and bite issues will give a clearer prognosis of how a child’s jaw will grow, as well as how permanent teeth will emerge and develop. This will enable an orthodontist to develop a suitable treatment program that will correct dental problems quickly and easily.

Improved Confidence

Early orthodontic treatments will give children not just straighter, even teeth but more so, the distinctly pleasing smiles that convey confidence, warmth and pride. Children who enjoy more attractive smiles tend to interact more confidently with other children and participate more actively in various productive activities

Lessening The Self-Conscious Years

Children who undergo early intervention treatments would naturally finish the programs early. Example, those who start wearing braces while in the third grade may be done before he or she begins fourth or fifth grade. This means that children who started early orthodontic treatments will have completed the programs long before they reach adolescence, that sensitive stage when teens are most self-conscious with their appearance.

Saving on Costlier, More Invasive Dental Corrections in The Future

Early correction of dental issues can prevent longer, more expensive and complicated dental treatment protocols in the future. Orthodontists recommend the early treatment of dental problems while a child is still growing. Once the child stops growing, treatments may take longer and require more extensive work.

Conditions That Require Early Orthodontic Treatment

There are certain red flags that call for early orthodontic consultation and immediate treatment. These include bite problems (cross bites, large overbites, deep bites, open bites, under bites), crowding, spacing, overjets or the horizontal overlap of the incisors, teeth emerging in the wrong sequence, jaw growth problems, missing teeth and ankylosed teeth, a rare disorder where bone and teeth are fused together which prevent teeth eruption, growth and movement.

These dental issues may be the result of genetics or environmental factors such as thumb sucking, finger sucking or abnormal swallowing patterns. Other causes of orthodontic problems include the early or late loss of baby teeth, mouth breathing motions and injuries from accidents.

If no problem is detected, an orthodontist will simply recommend an ideal time frame for a child’s future orthodontic examination. On the other hand, a responsive intervention treatment program will be advised for urgent implementation once a dental problem is identified.

Each treatment program has different end-goals depending on the type and severity of a child’s dental problem. These goals include straightening crooked teeth, closing spaces between teeth, aligning crowded teeth, making space for permanent teeth to erupt, decreasing trauma risk associated with protruded teeth, guiding jaw growth and correcting harmful habits.

Orthodontic Products for Children

Even with the gamut of dental appliances available for kids today, braces remain the foremost choice when it comes to straightening teeth and correcting misaligned bites.

Whereas braces from past decades had brackets that wrap fully around the tooth, brackets today are bonded directly to each tooth surface. In some cases, lingual or ‘concealed’ brackets may be placed behind the teeth to make them less noticeable.

There are different types of braces available for children: metal braces are fixed to the front of the teeth to correct extreme bite problems or severely crooked teeth; clear braces were designed for those who need braces but want them to be less visible; porcelain veneers are for those who want instantly white, straight and picture-perfect teeth; and Invisalign, a series of clear, adjustable and custom-made aligners worn every two weeks to move the teeth progressively into place.

Another option for corrective dental work are Temporary Anchorage Devices or TADs. These are mini-screws that may be temporarily attached in the mouth to provide a fixed point from which to apply force and move teeth to their desired position.

Rubber bands, also called elastics, are also advised when additional force is required to shift the teeth and jaws into desired positions. Created to be more kid-friendly, rubber bands come in multi-colored designs and may even be customized to go with different occasions such as red and green for Christmas, orange and black for Halloween, or green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Dr. Michael D. Larson


Being a native of Northern California, it is a real joy to serve the patients of our community. I have a strong desire to improve the lives of those around me, and the skills to follow through. Who can ask for more than that?

With a combination of personal care for my patients, treatments utilizing the most advanced technology, and a strong continuing orthodontic education, I maintain a commitment to providing the highest quality treatments available.

Dr. Larson caters to discerning clients who expect superior orthodontic care. We have seen patients achieve amazing transformations, not only in their smiles but in their attitudes, after getting orthodontic treatment.

Never underestimate the power of a smile to boost confidence and self-esteem!