Along with the American Association of Orthodontist, we recommend that a child receive their first orthodontic screening by the age 7. By starting treatment early, we are able to recognize potential problems early and correct them before they become more serious. This not only saves you and your child time, but also money.
Early interceptive orthodontic treatment has proven to be beneficial for the overall desired result. Because a young child's permanent teeth have not finished erupting, we are able to thoroughly evaluate the front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships and address any impending problems at its earliest stage.
During your child's initial evaluation we will first determine if there are any problems that need to be addressed, such as potential crowding, open bite, overbite or gummy smiles. It is possible that immediate treatment is not necessary at the time or even at all. However, if treatment is indicated, we will create a personalized treatment plan for your child that will prove to be the most beneficial for his/her specific case.
Early orthodontic treatment varies between patients, but may include removable or fixed appliances that can provide more room for crowded, erupting teeth; preserve space for unerupted teeth; create facial symmetry through manipulating jaw growth; reduce the possibility of tooth extraction; and reduce overall treatment time in braces.
Phase II Treatment
Between the ages of 11 and 15 is the most common time for Phase II orthodontic treatment, and for good reasons. By 12, most if not all of the permanent teeth have erupted and are in place, and crooked teeth, gaps and bad bites can easily be detected. These problems will hardly ever correct themselves, so this is when most parents decide to seek orthodontic treatment.
This is also a good time for orthodontic treatment because many negative associations of braces are not present. Many children in this age range undergo orthodontic treatment, and children are very often able to be convinced to wear braces because they see their friends wearing them, too, and want to fit in.
Besides the benefits of fitting in with their friends, children at this age are growing rapidly, and orthodontists can usually take advantage of these growth spurts to help shape the bite and teeth correctly. And children at this age have high metabolisms, which can help shorten overall treatment time and reduce the discomfort of orthodontic treatment.
Patients who have undergone both Phase I and Phase II treatment are more likely to have lasting results. Our goal for your two-phase orthodontic treatment is to give you correctly aligned teeth that provide ideal jaw function and a great smile!