Pediatric Orthodontist and Braces Treatment


Braces are a big milestone for kids. Some look forward to it. Some dread it. But all can enjoy and benefit from seeing an orthodontist.

What is orthodontics?

Screening for braces

Pediatric dentists, like ours, are trained to identify orthodontic issues early. Dr. Laura and Dr. Susie include orthodontic screenings during every routine oral health check-up. This helps patients know when it is best to start orthodontic care.

Screenings look at the growth and development of each child. Dr. Laura and Dr. Susie will evaluate

  • Your child’s overall mouth
  • Tooth position and alignment
  • Jaw alignment and overall “bite”
  • Unerupted, missing, and impacted teeth
  • Crowding or spacing
  • “Over and underbites” and crossbites

Our dental office can help get the process started by booking an appointment. Every cleaning can be an opportunity to talk to our team about braces and other ongoing care. A pediatric dental practice brings a special care to children’s dentistry, including orthodontics.

In-house orthodontics treatment

The next step is having an orthodontic evaluation done by an orthodontist. Parents and kids don’t need to fear or worry about finding a new office to get the care they need. St. Johns Pediatric Dentistry has an orthodontist as part of the practice and offers complimentary initial orthodontic exams to provide the highest level of care.

Dr. W. Vaughn Holland, our in-house orthodontist and Jacksonville native, is trained in prosthodontics and orthodontics. He specializes in diagnosing, preventing, and treating dentofacial irregularities and can help align the teeth and jaws. Less than ten doctors in the United States have this dual specialty!

Having an orthodontist at the practice means that patients can receive all of their child’s dental care at the same dental home. Getting cleanings and orthodontic checkups done under the same roof can be a sanity-saver for busy parents and kids.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a check-up with an orthodontist specialist no later than age 7.

Children braces consultation

After the initial exam, each patient will complete a diagnostic record. Staff will take photos of the patient’s face and teeth, impressions to study, bite registrations, and any x-rays needed.

Dr. Holland will look at each child’s smile, evaluating growth, bite, tooth, or other problems that orthodontics can help with. Treatment options, including types of braces, braces cost, expected time to wear braces, and best time to begin, will be discussed during a consultation. The team can help each child get their best smile through an individualized treatment plan.

We can help you find the best orthodontic treatment plan for your child’s teeth, from traditional braces and rubber bands to how to wear a retainer.

Smiles change lives, so we don’t believe braces should be a luxury. Every child deserves to feel good about their smile! When it comes to straightening teeth, braces are still the primary means for straightening teeth and correcting misaligned bites if a child needs braces. There are all types of braces, including metal braces.

Kid braces, teen braces, and adult braces

Just as each child is unique, so is each dazzling smile. The St. Johns Pediatric Dentistry team will monitor the arrival of permanent teeth and face and jaw development to decide when best to start the braces process.

Early orthodontics treatment (7-10 years of age) is the least common but can be needed to ensure healthy growth and development. Because baby teeth are most likely still present at this age, orthodontics is usually postponed until all of the child’s permanent teeth are in. Early treatment is often used when a child has growth-related dental issues that prevent them from becoming more severe.

Orthodontics during adolescence is the most common time to start orthodontic treatment, as all permanent teeth have erupted. This is often the most effective period to treat orthodontic issues. An orthodontic exam and individualized consultation can determine what is best for your child.

Adult orthodontic treatment can be a great option for those looking to improve their smile and the overall health of their teeth and gums. Modern technology and available treatments provide a wide range of options for adults to get the smile they have always wanted.

Ongoing visits will address how braces are working and any adjustments that need to be made. Orthodontics comes with some expected discomfort, but the St. Johns Pediatric Dentistry team can help soothe both fears and discomfort to create sparkling smiles.

Orthodontic problems don’t have to stop your child from smiling and laughing. Parents can be confident that their care at St. Johns Pediatric Dentistry will be fun, beneficial, and improve overall dental health. With the help of a trained orthodontist and an individualized treatment plan, every child can put their best sparkling smile forward.

St.Johns County Loves Our Dental Office

We're Proud To Have The Best Pediatric Dentist Rating Possible

Dr.Susie is literally heaven sent! On Father’s Day my daughter had an injury and lost her front tooth. I immediately took her to the ER however they do not handle any dental trauma. The RN at the ER googled emergency dental care and this location popped up. I’m so grateful to have reached Dr.Susie. I explained the circumstances and she immediately provided care, empathy and guidance. She offered to meet me at the office and replace the tooth in the socket and perform the necessary procedure to save the tooth. During the process the dr was kind and caring. Speaking positivity to my 11 yr old daughter who was beyond scared. Dr.Susie set proper expectations about the next steps. I really appreciate this pediatric dentist office. From the front desk agent Ms.Teresa to Dr.Susie I felt 100% supported and valued.
Laura P.
Laura P.
I highly recommend St. Johns Pediatric Dentistry. I have been taking my two girls here for years, and I can’t say enough about the exceptional care they provide. My daughters get excited when I tell them they are going to the dentist! They can't wait to pick out their own movie, put on those cool sunglasses, and select a reward at the end. The entire staff is welcoming, caring, understanding, and incredibly patient. The team goes above and beyond to make patients (and parents) feel comfortable.
Lisa L.
Lisa L.
By far, the best pediatrics dentist I have ever brought my children to. The kids are so comfortable and happy to be there. My 2 year old doesn't even want to leave. 🥰 They are professional, respectful, kind, and care about our children.🙏 I am so grateful for Saint John's pediatrics dentistry after we had a bad experience at Jacksonville's children's surgical center.
Rachel L.
Rachel L.
Dr. Laura has seen both of my girls since their first appointments. My oldest is 11, and she’s always seen Dr. Laura. She is amazing! She is kind, gentle, considerate and knowledgeable. We are thankful for her and all the staff. The office is run so smoothly. This is truly a wonderful place to take children for dentistry.
I CANNOT say enough good things about this place. We’ve been going almost 2 years now and it’s such a pleasant experience every time. Had a couple non-routine visits, chipped tooth today for example, and they do everything they can to help you, explain to you the situation, potential problems. But also assure you that things are probably fine, just keep an eye, etc. They don’t push procedures at all like regular dentists, they explain what can be done, and then explain when certain things aren’t necessary. They are not money hungry at all, excellent dentists, excellent hygienists/assistants. I will definitely keep bringing my kids here and keep recommending this place.
Jess R.
Jess R.
We love St. Johns Pediatric Dentistry! The lobby is adorable and the staff is amazing. Once you are in the back, the kids feel safe, comfortable and entertained while their exam is happening. Thank you for being awesome!
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