Common Orthodontic Problems an Adolescent May Face


Dr. Michael Stosich, orthodontist, explains common orthodontic issues young patients may face.

Has your dentist recently recommended that you schedule an orthodontic consultation for your child? Or, is your child past the age of seven and hasn’t yet seen an orthodontist? If so, you may have questions about what might cause your child to need orthodontic treatment.

“We recommend that children seen an orthodontist by the age of seven,” says Dr. Michael Stosich. “This is the ideal time for an orthodontic consultation because the child will most likely have a mix of baby and permanent teeth, and we can start to see how the future smile might emerge.”

But what exactly is the orthodontist looking for?

Malocclusion is the term given to orthodontic abnormalities that might result in the need for braces. The most common issue orthodontists see is crowding. This occurs when there just isn’t enough room in the mouth for all of the permanent teeth. If it isn’t corrected at the right time, the teeth can grow in over each other, leading to overlapping.

Other malocclusions an orthodontist looks for include:

  • Underbite – If your child’s lower jaw outgrows the upper jaw, he may have an underbite. The lower teeth will protrude over the top teeth in an underbite.
  • Overbite – If your child’s top teeth cover an excessive amount of the lower teeth, an overbite might be indicated. This can lead to the teeth wearing down, and in a severe overbite, the bottom teeth might actually bite into the gums in the roof of the mouth.
  • Spacing – If your child is missing teeth, or has very small teeth or a wide dental arch, there may be abnormal spacing.
  • Crossbite – If your child’s front or back upper teeth can fit inside the lower front or back teeth, it’s called a crossbite.
  • Overjet – If your child’s teeth protrude too far out, or the lower teeth don’t extend far enough, it’s an overjet. This can be the result of either uneven jaw growth, or extended thumb sucking.
  • Open bite – If your child’s front teeth don’t touch when the back teeth are touching, it’s called an open bite. This is most often caused by thumb sucking and other bad oral habits. An open bite can lead to chewing and speech problems.

“If your child indicates any of these issues, it’s important to schedule a consultation with a certified orthodontist,” says Dr. Stosich. “While a dentist may be able to recognize signs of a malocclusion, only a trained orthodontist will have the knowledge and skill to properly correct it.”

At your child’s first consultation, the orthodontist will conduct a thorough exam to determine what the problem may be, and if treatment will be needed. X-rays and photos will be taken, and the orthodontist will perform a physical examination. From there, the orthodontist will determine the best course of treatment to correct the issue.

“While you may commonly picture a teenager with a mouth full of braces, it’s important to have your child examined by an orthodontist around the seventh birthday,” says Dr. Stosich. “Your child may not need treatment then, but we can monitor growth and begin treatment at the right time to ensure the best results. Sometimes, beginning treatment earlier can shorten later treatment or prevent the need for it altogether.”

If your child is past the age of seven and hasn’t had an orthodontic consultation yet, or if he or she exhibits any of the signs above, call as soon as possible to schedule a consultation with a certified orthodontist. Correcting the issue as soon as possible may be able to save you time, money and future headaches. Call Dr. Stosich at iDentity Orthodontics today at 847-548-4200.

dr-michael-stosich-2About Dr. Michael Stosich:

Dr. Stosich is a highly experienced and exceptionally trained orthodontist serving patients throughout the Kenilworth and Grayslake area. His credentials are nearly twice that of other orthodontists because he takes his field seriously and is committed to providing only the best in care to his patients. In addition to treating patients in his office, Dr. Stosich also serves as the director of orthodontics at the University of Chicago hospital team for craniofacial, sleep apnea and cleft palate patients. Dr. Stosich has studied orthodontics extensively, having received an endowed grant from the National Institute of Health, and is committed to offering patients advanced smile design techniques.

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How to Choose the Right Orthodontist


Guest Post from Dr. Heather Desh 

How to Choose the Right Orthodontist

Orthodontic treatment requires a trusting relationship. Do you know how to choose the right orthodontist for you?

When you make the decision to undergo orthodontic treatment, building a relationship with the right doctor is essential because a beautiful, healthy smile doesn’t happen overnight. Starting orthodontic treatment means making a big commitment to one orthodontist for several years, so it is important to choose a doctor you’re comfortable with. As with any healthy relationship, it should be built on trust, understanding and communication.

Choosing an orthodontist can be difficult. With so many to choose from, how can you be sure the one you pick is right for you? There are several things that should be included in your research.

  1. Ask people you trust for their opinions. Do you have a close friend or family member who has undergone treatment, or has a child who has? Ask them who they used, and if they’d recommend that office. You should also ask your dentist and hygienist. If your dentist has an orthodontist he or she regularly recommends, it’s a great sign you can trust the work of that office.
  2. Be sure you are seeing a certified orthodontist. Many dentists offer some kinds of orthodontic care in their office (i.e. Invisalign and Six Month Smiles). While dentists provide excellent general dental care, periodontal maintenance and cosmetic needs, only a trained and certified orthodontist has the unique knowledge and extra 2-3 years training needed to ensure not just a pretty smile, but a perfectly functioning bite as well. It’s also important to ask whether the doctor is board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics, a prestige held by only 20% of orthodontists. Read more about why that is important here.
  3. Meet the orthodontist! Most practices will offer a free consultation visit so that you can visit the office and meet the orthodontist before making a financial commitment. As stated above, you’ll be embarking on a 1-2 year relationship with this person, so make sure it’s someone you’re comfortable with and trust. Did the orthodontist take the time to address your questions and concerns? Good doctors are good teachers so should be able to explain why they recommend a particular treatment and the expected results.
  4. See the office in person. Often times, the best way to see if an orthodontic office will be a good fit for you is to visit the office. Do you feel comfortable? Does the office provide the amenities you’re looking for? Was the staff warm and inviting? Gone are the days of visiting a dreary dental office; today you are investing in not only a service (ortho treatment), but also an experience.
  5. Does the office use state-of-the-art technology? Technology in the orthodontics world is moving quickly, so it’s important your orthodontist stays up-to-date in order to provide you with the best and most efficient care. Digital technology also has the advantages of reduced waste and significantly decreased radiation.
  6. Does your insurance cover this particular orthodontist? If not, and this is the orthodontist you feel most comfortable with, what are the payment options? Will the office provide you with all fees upfront, so you’ll know what to expect? Make sure you find out whether the fees are all-inclusive or if things like records, retainers, clear braces are provided at an additional cost.
  7. What type of treatment does the orthodontist recommend? Get a detailed treatment plan from the orthodontist, and if visiting more than one before making your final decision, compare them. Are there things that are very different? If so, ask the orthodontists why. Learning their approach to treatment can help you better know if the orthodontist will be an ideal fit for you.
  8. Where is the office located? Is it convenient for you? Does the office offer hours that will fit into your schedule? While that shouldn’t be the most important thing when choosing an orthodontist, it is something to consider. If you have to drive a bit of a distance, and the office doesn’t offer times that conveniently fit into your schedule, it can make it harder to commit fully to your treatment. Keeping your maintenance appointments on schedule is important to ensuring your treatment stays on track.

If you’re interested in orthodontic treatment, I invite you to call our office today to set up a complimentary consultation and see if we’re a good fit for you. I look forward to meeting you and hope to begin a meaningful relationship with a beautiful final treatment result!

Dr-Heather-Desh-3About Dr. Heather Desh

Dr. Heather Desh of HD Orthodontics is a board certified long beach orthodontist and dentofacial orthopedics. Dr. Desh provides best orthodontic care including early treatments for children as well as treatments for teens and adults from long beach, CA and surrounding areas.

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Why Early Orthodontic Treatment for Children is Important

why early orthodontic treatment is importnat for children

We have another great guest post on dental care from Dr. Nima Hajibaik at Newpark Orthodontics of Alpharetta and Johns Creek.

Early Orthodontic treatment can begin as soon as 7-years-old for some children. Although the typical age for braces is between 9 and 13, 7 seems to be the age that can help to prevent problematic areas before they can become harder to correct or may even become permanent.

When you take your child in for early orthodontic treatment, it is typically done in a Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment process. The first phase will introduce your child to the orthodontist and establish a relationship with them. As a parent, you can decide whether it will be a good match or not at this time. Because the relationship between your child and the orthodontist will last for several years, you want to make sure it will be a good fit.

Generally during the first phase, the orthodontist will give your child a thorough examination of the gums, mouth, teeth, and jaw for a base point. Although your child will still have most of his or her primary teeth at this time, the orthodontist will have the ability to stop a problem before it develops and can also correct bad oral habits at this time. The jaw bone plays a very important part in the development and alignment of teeth and the orthodontist can help to ensure that it grows at the correct rate of development so teeth will come in straight.

The doctor will check how your child chews and bites and will make sure the teeth and jaw are in alignment to avoid any occlusions and will take necessary steps to correct them. During the process of losing primary teeth and cutting permanent teeth, the orthodontist can help to guide the emerging teeth in their perfect position to prevent problems down the line. It is important to know that the first phase can save time and money when it’s time to enter into the second phase of treatment.

When it’s time to enter in to the second phase, braces will be placed on your child’s teeth. Braces will move and straighten secondary/permanent teeth into their proper position which will help with speech, chewing, smiling, and proper jaw alignment. If proper jaw alignment is not pursued when your child is young when bone density is more easily manipulated, your child may need surgery to correct this anomaly at a later date when bones become harder and more difficult to move.

Not every child will need to undergo the Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment process. There are early warning signs to look for that will alert you to take your son or daughter to the orthodontist as early as 7-years-old. If you begin to notice your child has an overbite, cross bite, crowding teeth, underbite, wide spaces between teeth, or missing teeth, it’s time to take him or her in for a consultation with an orthodontist.

Any or all of these problems can be corrected early on to ensure your child’s facial features will develop as they should, that they don’t have speech problems or digestive problems, and that your child can be healthy and happy with a perfect smile that boosts confidence and lends greater self-esteem.


Newpark Orthodontics of Alpharetta and Johns Creek is an orthodontic practice dedicated to helping children, teens and adults achieve a perfect smile by providing best orthodontic treatments with high-tech braces from traditional metal braces to lingual, clear and ceramic braces as well as Invisalign. Dr. Nima Hajibaik is the only orthodontist in Alpharetta and Johns Creek voted best for 3 times.

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