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1 Thinking about treatment for your child? Find out more about how an orthodontist can help. Why get orthodontic treatment?

The first thing we notice when we meet someone is their smile. Your smile is one of your most important features. A nice smile helps with making friends, having good self-esteem, finding work, and being successful in life.  So you want to make sure it’s as good as it can possibly be. You’ll be in the best hands with a fully trained specialist orthodontist. If you’re self-conscious about the state of your teeth, then having orthodontic treatment can help you restore your confidence to smile. 

Only specialist orthodontists have the skills and expertise to correctly diagnose problems. We’ll assess and monitor your tooth movements, and safeguard your healthy smile. Your teeth will be easier to clean, your gums healthier, and your stress levels lower.

What’s the optimum age to start treatment?

The best time to see an orthodontist is as soon as you notice something wrong with your child's bite or smile. Only a specialist orthodontist can advise you on what treatment is best, and when is the best time to correct the problem.

Many teenagers get orthodontic treatment, because then the orthodontist can work with the way the mouth, teeth and jaw are developing. But children younger than this can be taken to an orthodontist. If their mouth and teeth problems are affecting their confidence and lives, it’s best to start early.

Common orthodontic issues

There are a range of common orthodontic problems. If any of these look familiar or you have any questions about your or your child’s bite or teeth, we recommend you contact a local orthodontist for a consultation. You can use our new tool at the bottom of this page to help you find a registered orthodontist. 

Crossbite

The upper teeth should fit outside the lower teeth like a lid on a box. Patients with a crossbite will have one or more upper teeth tucked inside the lower teeth. This can sometimes lead to the lower jaw shifting to the front or to the side (this is called a "functional shift"). If the crossbite is at the front, and it is not addressed, it can cause the gums of the lower teeth to shrink away.

Crowded teeth

Crowding is a common orthodontic problem. It is when there is not enough space in the jaws to accommodate all of the teeth in the mouth. Crowded teeth can be unattractive and difficult to clean and can create problems with chewing and biting.

Spacing

Spacing is when the teeth are relatively small compared to the size of the jaw, or can also be due to having missing adult teeth. Spacing can be generalised between all the teeth, or can be localised to one area.

Overjet

Patients with a large overjet have upper teeth that are too far forward of their lower teeth. This is also known as having "buck teeth". There is an increased risk of injury to the front teeth with an overjet, particularly if the patient plays contact sport. A large overjet can occur when the upper front teeth or jaw is too far forward, or when the lower jaw is too small.

Deep bite

This is when the upper front teeth overlap the lower teeth too much. In some cases, the lower front teeth can bite into the gums behind the upper teeth causing trauma and discomfort. The type of orthodontic treatment for a deep bite will depend on the severity of the problem and the age of the patient.

Open bite

An open bite exists when the upper and lower front teeth don't meet. It is very common in children who suck their thumbs or fingers, but can also be due to the growth pattern of the upper and lower jaws.

Impacted teeth

An impacted tooth is one that doesn't come through at all. This can be due to a severe lack of space ("crowding") or because the tooth has developed in the wrong position. The most common teeth to develop in the wrong position are the upper eye teeth, as shown on the x-ray above.

Missing teeth

Some adult teeth do not develop at all. This a genetic problem, and will often run in families. There will often be gaps where the adult teeth are missing. There are a number of different treatment options for missing adult teeth which your specialist orthodontist can advise you on as it can often be a complex issue.

Thumb and Finger sucking Habits

Thumb or finger sucking is a natural reflex for a baby that may even begin before they are born, and is considered to be a normal feature of a young child's development. However, if the habit continues once the adult teeth start coming through, there is the potential for this habit to move the teeth and cause orthodontic problems.

You don't need a referral from a dentist or dental nurse if you are concerned. Please contact your local orthodontist directly, and they will be happy to provide an assessment and recommend the best options for your child.

How much will it cost?

Orthodontic treatment is an investment in your loved one's future. There is no set fee for orthodontic visits in New Zealand. Think of it like home renovations. The cost of those depends on the state of the house and what needs to be done. It's the same with your child's teeth. The fee will vary depending on the type of treatment required and the specialist you see. Your orthodontist will provide an all-inclusive quote so you can work out your budget ahead of time. Most orthodontists offer affordable payment plans by spreading out the cost of the treatment over many months.  

  • Why get orthodontic treatment?
  • What’s the optimum age to start treatment?
  • Common orthodontic issues
  • How much will it cost?

Why get orthodontic treatment?

The first thing we notice when we meet someone is their smile. Your smile is one of your most important features. A nice smile helps with making friends, having good self-esteem, finding work, and being successful in life.  So you want to make sure it’s as good as it can possibly be. You’ll be in the best hands with a fully trained specialist orthodontist. If you’re self-conscious about the state of your teeth, then having orthodontic treatment can help you restore your confidence to smile. 



Only specialist orthodontists have the skills and expertise to correctly diagnose problems. We’ll assess and monitor your tooth movements, and safeguard your healthy smile. Your teeth will be easier to clean, your gums healthier, and your stress levels lower.


What’s the optimum age to start treatment?

The best time to see an orthodontist is as soon as you notice something wrong with your child's bite or smile. Only a specialist orthodontist can advise you on what treatment is best, and when is the best time to correct the problem.



Many teenagers get orthodontic treatment, because then the orthodontist can work with the way the mouth, teeth and jaw are developing. But children younger than this can be taken to an orthodontist. If their mouth and teeth problems are affecting their confidence and lives, it’s best to start early.


Common orthodontic issues

There are a range of common orthodontic problems. If any of these look familiar or you have any questions about your or your child’s bite or teeth, we recommend you contact a local orthodontist for a consultation. You can use our new tool at the bottom of this page to help you find a registered orthodontist. 



Crossbite



The upper teeth should fit outside the lower teeth like a lid on a box. Patients with a crossbite will have one or more upper teeth tucked inside the lower teeth. This can sometimes lead to the lower jaw shifting to the front or to the side (this is called a "functional shift"). If the crossbite is at the front, and it is not addressed, it can cause the gums of the lower teeth to shrink away.



Crowded teeth



Crowding is a common orthodontic problem. It is when there is not enough space in the jaws to accommodate all of the teeth in the mouth. Crowded teeth can be unattractive and difficult to clean and can create problems with chewing and biting.



Spacing



Spacing is when the teeth are relatively small compared to the size of the jaw, or can also be due to having missing adult teeth. Spacing can be generalised between all the teeth, or can be localised to one area.



Overjet



Patients with a large overjet have upper teeth that are too far forward of their lower teeth. This is also known as having "buck teeth". There is an increased risk of injury to the front teeth with an overjet, particularly if the patient plays contact sport. A large overjet can occur when the upper front teeth or jaw is too far forward, or when the lower jaw is too small.



Deep bite



This is when the upper front teeth overlap the lower teeth too much. In some cases, the lower front teeth can bite into the gums behind the upper teeth causing trauma and discomfort. The type of orthodontic treatment for a deep bite will depend on the severity of the problem and the age of the patient.



Open bite



An open bite exists when the upper and lower front teeth don't meet. It is very common in children who suck their thumbs or fingers, but can also be due to the growth pattern of the upper and lower jaws.



Impacted teeth



An impacted tooth is one that doesn't come through at all. This can be due to a severe lack of space ("crowding") or because the tooth has developed in the wrong position. The most common teeth to develop in the wrong position are the upper eye teeth, as shown on the x-ray above.



Missing teeth



Some adult teeth do not develop at all. This a genetic problem, and will often run in families. There will often be gaps where the adult teeth are missing. There are a number of different treatment options for missing adult teeth which your specialist orthodontist can advise you on as it can often be a complex issue.



Thumb and Finger sucking Habits



Thumb or finger sucking is a natural reflex for a baby that may even begin before they are born, and is considered to be a normal feature of a young child's development. However, if the habit continues once the adult teeth start coming through, there is the potential for this habit to move the teeth and cause orthodontic problems.



You don't need a referral from a dentist or dental nurse if you are concerned. Please contact your local orthodontist directly, and they will be happy to provide an assessment and recommend the best options for your child.


How much will it cost?

Orthodontic treatment is an investment in your loved one's future. There is no set fee for orthodontic visits in New Zealand. Think of it like home renovations. The cost of those depends on the state of the house and what needs to be done. It's the same with your child's teeth. The fee will vary depending on the type of treatment required and the specialist you see. Your orthodontist will provide an all-inclusive quote so you can work out your budget ahead of time. Most orthodontists offer affordable payment plans by spreading out the cost of the treatment over many months.