The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children visit the orthodontist for the first time by the age of seven. Don’t worry, this doesn’t necessarily mean your child will leave the office in braces. It’s an opportunity for us to examine your child’s teeth and jaws, observe their development and let you know when the time is right to start treatment. We watch for any red flags and always keep parents informed throughout the process.
The Benefits of Early Treatment
Since a young child’s permanent teeth haven’t finished erupting, we’re able to thoroughly evaluate the front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships and detect emerging problems such as potential crowding, underbites, overbites, crossbites and open bites. If we uncover any issues, by addressing them early, treatment can be much easier and less expensive down the road and your kiddo can avoid the need for surgery or extractions as an adult. Plus, intervening in childhood allows us to offer treatments like Invisalign in adolescence.
Interceptive Treatment Options
If necessary, we develop a personalized treatment plan just for your child and walk you through all of the details. The course of action varies depending on their needs. We often refer to this interceptive treatment as two-phase treatment. Phase I occurs while the patient still has baby teeth and could involve a round of removable or fixed appliances to prevent or correct a problem or direct jawbone growth. This is followed by a resting period and then braces or Invisalign as a teenager for Phase II. This first phase typically lasts about 12 to 21 months and can:
- Increase your little one’s self esteem
- Remedy crowding so the teeth can erupt properly
- Save space for the permanent teeth
- Create facial symmetry
- Prevent tooth impaction
- Correct a range of issues including crossbites
Having Phase I and Phase II treatment, in many cases, can lead to the most lasting, stable results. The only way to know if early treatment is right for your child is to schedule a free consultation. Our kid-friendly office and personable team will put them at ease and ensure they have a fantastic experience and even more fantastic results.