Braces and Spacing

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Your teeth might be crooked, or your upper and lower jaws might not be the same size. If your upper jaw is bigger than your lower jaw, that's called an overbite. If your lower jaw is bigger than your upper jaw, you have an underbite.

Today, braces are much less noticeable than previous years. Metal braces are still used, but you might be able to get clear braces or braces that are the same color as your teeth. There are even braces that go behind your teeth where no one can see them.

The wires that are used in braces today are also smaller and better than they used to be, and they're made of material that straightens your teeth faster and easier. 

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Growth Analysis & Spacing

Prior to age five, most children will have only their primary teeth. At ages six to seven, the first permanent molars and centrals will erupt. Incisors will usually erupt between the ages of seven and eight. This sets the stage for future eruption of the remaining twelve permanent teeth between the ages of ten and eleven. At twelve years of age, the four second permanent molars erupt. For those who have wisdom teeth, they erupt by age twenty in most cases.

The ages stated above are just basic guidelines. It is important to know that chronological age does not follow dental age, nor does it correlate with children’s height, weight, or mental development. 

It is essential that children be evaluated for missing primary teeth in order to determine if any space maintenance is necessary. As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that all space created by a missing primary tooth should be maintained. Doing so will prevent the first permanent molar from drifting. If the first molar is allowed to drift, it will not only eat up the space, but it can potentially interfere with the eruption of the premolars or canines.