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Orthodontic Treatment Options for Common Dental Issues in Kids

As children grow, their teeth and jaws undergo significant development. Without proper monitoring, significant orthodontic problems can manifest which require more invasive treatments to resolve. While many dental issues in children may initially seem harmless, they can progressively worsen over time, causing serious, long-term oral health concerns if left unaddressed. Through our complimentary early screenings we are able to avoid costly treatments and provide guidance to facilitate better growth and development of the jaws to make any future orthodontic needs more manageable. When treatment needs do arise, our state-of-the-art braces and advanced orthodontic treatments executed by the experts at Hatcher & Frey we are able to quickly and comfortably correct common childhood dental problems.


One of the most prevalent orthodontic issues we see in pediatric patients is the crowding of teeth. This occurs when there is insufficient room along the jaw for permanent teeth to all properly fit as they erupt. Crowded, overlapping teeth trap plaque, increasing the risk of cavities, gum disease, and jaw pain.

For most crowding issues, this does not require early intervention unless particularly severe, but it does require close monitoring and guidance. When the jaws are in the appropriate phase of development for treatment, Hatcher & Frey offers treatment options such as custom braces or Invisalign clear aligners. Our specialized 3D printed braces gently shift each tooth into its properly aligned position, alleviating overlapping and allowing ideal spacing between teeth. Similarly, Invisalign aligners provide an even more comfortable and discreet alternative, using a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten teeth and correct crowding.

Spacing and Gaps

Some children experience excessive spacing or gaps between teeth as adult teeth emerge. Similar to crowded teeth, this requires close monitoring until treatment timing is appropriate for it to be corrected. If spacing present is the result of a missing tooth or prematurely lost baby tooth, a space maintainer, may be indicated to hold that space to allow proper bite development and prevent other teeth from drifting prematurely. 

When it is time to correct spacing and gap issues, our orthodontists offer the choice of either our custom braces, or Invisalign clear aligners. Our custom clear and metal braces and Invisalign aligners work to gradually move teeth into their desired positions, closing any gaps along the way.


An overbite exists when upper front teeth vertically overlap lower ones too far. Severe overbites can lead to lower teeth biting into the palate, accelerating tooth wear, jaw pain, and chewing or speech issues.

For overbite correction, Hatcher & Frey offers various treatment options, such as braces, bite correctors, or Invisalign clear aligners. Traditional braces use brackets and wires to level and align the individual teeth to match the new jaw alignment. Invisalign aligners can gently reposition the jaw over time with a series of clear, removable aligners.


An underbite, also sometimes referred to as an anterior crossbite, occurs when the lower jaw protrudes past the upper teeth. This misaligned bite pattern overworks jaw joints/muscles, causing chronic pain, headaches, grinding, and chewing difficulty.

This type of bite benefits from correction as early as possible in order to prevent misalignment of the lower jaw and avoid the need for surgical correction later in development. To correct underbites, our orthodontists are able to address this without the need for archaic contraptions by using our custom braces and Invisalign clear aligners. These treatments are able to quickly and comfortably realign the jaw and teeth into proper occlusion, improving function and normalizing development. 

Open Bites

With an open bite, upper and lower front teeth don’t vertically overlap when biting, leaving an open space between the anterior teeth. This interferes with chewing food properly and can impact speech.

For open bite correction, Hatcher & Frey offers a choice of custom braces or Invisalign clear aligners to improve bite function and stably close the open front bite.


A crossbite occurs when upper teeth fit inside lower ones when biting, rather than over them properly. This can happen with the anterior teeth, an underbite, or with the posterior teeth on one or both sides. Hatcher & Frey treats both anterior (front teeth) and posterior (back teeth/molars) crossbites. Uncorrected crossbites accelerate enamel wear, cause jaw shifting, and misaligned jaw joints and should be corrected as early as possible to normalize jaw growth.

Posterior crossbites no longer require outdated and traumatic “jack-screw” expanders. Our board certified orthodontists are able to get the same correction as traditional approaches more gently and easily using the Invisalign palatal expansion system and Invisalign clear aligners, as well as our custom braces appliances. These treatments work to realign crossed bite patterns so overall bite function and aesthetics can be improved.

Hatcher & Frey’s personalized orthodontic treatments ensure the proper growth of the jaw, prevents worsening dental problems, reduces abnormal tooth wear/trauma, decreases cavity/gum disease risk, and establishes a functional bite for proper chewing, swallowing, and speech. We implement the latest techniques and technologies, including custom self-ligating braces, clear Invisalign aligners, temporary anchorage devices to avoid surgeries, and customized treatment planning with the patient’s comprehensive oral health and facial aesthetics in mind. 

Don’t let common orthodontic issues remain unchecked. With 5 convenient locations across Hampton Roads, the board-certified specialists at Hatcher & Frey Orthodontics provide the area’s highest level of care and customized solutions to ensure your child’s smile is healthy and beautiful for life. Click here to schedule your free consultation or second opinion today.