Exceptional Children’s Orthodontics in the Suburban Dallas-Fort Worth Area
Practicing since 1992, Dr. Robert W. Gallagher understands children's orthodontics having been a young braces patient himself. Impressed by the enhancement to his smile and confidence, he decided to become an orthodontist himself, and help others achieve great results. His personal and professional background help improve your child's and teens' orthodontic experiences throughout treatment.
At Gallagher Orthodontics, we believe that detecting and treating bite issues early is crucial for your loved one’s future. Our practice embraces new technology and helps children and teens achieve great results using state-of-the-art equipment.
If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, we would love to serve all your orthodontic needs in any of our three locations in Grapevine, Keller, and Coppell. Our warm, welcoming team is more than happy to answer all your questions. If you live or work in any of our locations or in the nearby Colleyville area, call today and schedule your complimentary orthodontic appointment.
CALL US: (817) 562-2222 REQUEST APPOINTMENT
When Should I Consider Taking My Child to See an Orthodontist?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, your child should have an orthodontic evaluation at the earliest signs of problems or no later than seven years old. Around the age of seven, children start developing new front teeth, permanent incisors, and molars. At this point, the jaws are almost done forming. Therefore, it is the ideal time to gauge any crowding or extra space between teeth, as well as any crossbites or overbites that are present.
In some cases, a child’s orthodontic condition can be easier to address before the rest of the permanent teeth start to erupt. That is why we recommend an orthodontic evaluation early, even before the age of seven!
How Can An Orthodontist Help My Child?
For some children, orthodontic treatment might need to start as early as four years old, before the jawbones are fully developed. At this stage, Dr. Gallagher will have the chance to guide development and reduce the time spent wearing braces. It is also an opportunity to correct harmful oral habits that can make orthodontic treatment more complicated.
- Guide jaw growth to a better position
- Improve the way lips meet
- Improve appearance
- Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- Correct harmful oral habits
Early treatment not only provides a visually pleasing smile but corrects issues that could otherwise lead to jaw problems, headaches, decay, and tooth loss. Children and teens respond more quickly to orthodontics because treatments can take advantage of growth spurts, guiding development toward better alignment and symmetry.
Early Intervention Techniques to Give Your Children Their Best Smiles
With early intervention, your child can avoid wearing full braces in the future or reduce the time needed to achieve ideal correction with braces. However, braces are just one form of treatment. There are other treatments that can help enhance the symmetry for your child’s smile. Early special orthodontic appliances include:
- Space Maintainers
- Lower Lingual Arch Appliances
- Mouth Guards and Night Guards
- Retention Appliances
- Jaw Growth Correction Therapy
What Happens Without Early Treatment?
In some cases, the misalignment is too severe; for these cases, if the child’s jaw bones fully develop without treatment, surgical intervention may be needed to achieve a healthy bite. If surgery is required, Dr. Gallagher will refer your child to a specialized oral surgeon. We will work together as a team to ensure optimal results with the least amount of time and expense. We understand that orthodontic care can be costly, and we do all we can to make this process easier. Early intervention allows us to guide alignment and, in some cases, remove the need for full braces later.
What Should I Expect When My Child Begins Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is a predictable process to treat moderate to severe malocclusion. It can correct overbite, crossbite, underbite, and overcrowding. The three major treatment stages include:
Stage 1: This is the planning stage. Dr. Gallagher provides your child with a complimentary initial exam. This exam includes digital photographs, panoramic x-ray, and a 3D scan for smile simulation. After examining your child’s condition, he will create a comprehensive plan.
Stage 2: Our orthodontist will recommend suitable orthodontic devices to help align the teeth gently. If your child qualifies, traditional braces, expanders, or even aligners may be prescribed depending on the specific target.
Step 3: This is the last stage of treatment. A customized retainer is used to secure teeth in place so they do not move back to their original positions. A retainer is a critical component to ensure the success of orthodontic treatment.
For your child’s comfort and convenience, we offer bonded lower retainers for qualifying children, which includes two digitally produced upper retainers. A bonded retainer is a thin wire secured to the backside of the teeth. This is a permanent retainer, so you won’t have to worry about your child losing this very important appliance. Because the wires are behind the teeth, they are not visible so your child can smile with confidence. For the upper arch, we use the digital scanner to create a 3D model at the end of treatment.
Orthodontic Treatment Designed for Comfort
Nowadays, many options exist that can make straightening teeth much more comfortable and more natural. At Gallagher Orthodontics, we use the latest appliance and innovative technology. However, we make sure only to recommend the options that we know will work well for your specific case.
Traditional braces are highly effective for treating moderate to severe malocclusion for children seven and older. Overbite, underbite, crossbite, and overcrowding can be corrected successfully. Treatment can take six to thirty-six months and requires regular visits to our office for adjustments. We will check to see that adequate pressure is applied to specific teeth, and all wires and brackets are in good condition. Developmentally, their permanent teeth are ready to be aligned for optimal dental function and appearance.
Dr. Gallagher will determine if traditional braces are your child’s best option and will create your treatment plan. He will thoroughly explain all the necessary steps to help get you started. Some patients may require specific procedures before we start treatment, such as tooth extraction.
Care Instructions for Braces
For children using traditional braces, these care instructions need to be followed to avoid damaging their brackets and wires:
- Avoid eating hard candies, sticky foods
- Avoid crunchy foods that require a lot of front-facing biting, like apples.
- Brush and floss more often than usual.
- Request a mouthguard if you play sports.
Expanders are fixed devices that gradually widen the cartilage in the upper jaw when it’s too small to hold all the developing teeth. We choose mini-screw expanders because they are much more comfortable for children.
What To Expect When Your Child Gets A Palatal Expander?
It takes around four steps for the expanders to correct your child’s palate. Here is the process:
Step 1: Dr. Gallagher inserts spacers between the back molars to create enough space for the bands. The bands will hold the expander in place.
Step 2: Dr. Gallagher uses digital imaging to create the right size for your child’s mouth. The digital technique causes no gagging or discomfort for kids.
Step 3: Once in place, parents are instructed on how to use the key to continue expansion at home. Palate movement will continue in small intervals over the next two weeks.
Step 4: Once the palate is in the optimal position, the expander is left in place for an additional six months to secure the new position.
Invisalign® First Aligners
Invisalign® First are clear aligners made for children and can be used during phase 1 treatment. This type of therapy uses clear plastic, customized trays to provide discrete straightening. These aligners can be removed when eating or drinking. However, they must be worn 22 hours every day, so they are only recommended for highly responsible individuals.
This system uses a unique and advanced technology to get results more quickly than traditional braces. The wires are lighter and use shape-memory, so they don’t need tightening. With no elastics, this system reduces friction by using a sliding mechanism. Using the latest technology, we can provide you with images of what your facial structure will look like over time, which provides important details for planning your treatment.
Affordable, Comfortable Treatments for Your Children’s Smile
At Gallagher Orthodontics, we use the latest treatment methods with the most comfortable options available to help your child achieve excellent results with great comfort. If you have heard about the highly advertised take-home alignment treatments, you will discover that our prices are comparable, while adding the advantage of having your child treated under the excellent supervision of an experienced orthodontist.
For Dr. Gallagher and our friendly staff, every child we treat is like our own. We have three office locations in Grapevine, Keller, and Coppell. We are well-known across the Dallas/Fort Worth Area, including Tarrant County, Colleyville, Irving, North Richland Hills, Hurst Euless, and Bedford.
We are looking forward to meeting you and have you experience our relaxing, warm environment. You don’t have to choose only one of our locations for all your visits. Since our top-notch practice has all patient information on a shared server, all your treatment information will follow you to the location of your choice.
Boost your child’s confidence and give them the gift of an appealing symmetrical smile. Call our practice today and schedule your complimentary free appointment.
CALL US: (817) 562-2222 REQUEST APPOINTMENT