When should my child first see an Orthodontist?
This varies, but as a general rule, it is advised to seek an orthodontic evaluation at age 7. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. If a child after the age of 7 is found to have a significant jaw discrepancy, he or she may be a candidate for early orthodontic treatment. If growth related problems or severe crowding exist, they can be intercepted and corrected when caught early. Leaving such conditions untreated until all permanent teeth erupt could result in a jaw discrepancy or crowding too severe to correct with braces alone.
What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Planning now can save your smile later
If necessary, a combined or "phased" approach yields the ideal result in the most efficient amount of time. Because they are growing rapidly, children can benefit enormously from an early phase of orthodontic treatment. We are able to utilize appliances that direct the growth relationship of the upper and lower jaws. Thus, a good foundation is established, providing adequate room for the eruption of the permanent teeth.
First Phase Treatment:
Your foundation for a lifetime of beautiful teeth
The goal of first phase treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all of the permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaws to each other. This early correction usually prevents removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws.
First phase treatment may also benefit children who have social issues. For example, a child who may still suck their thumb at the age of 7 or 8 may be the target of teasing at school. This typically has a detrimental effect on their self-esteem. These children benefit greatly when treatment is initiated to cease their finger habit.
Second Phase Treatment:
Stay healthy and look attractive
Now that the foundation is set, a second phase of treatment may be needed to provide proper function and esthetics. Once all of the permanent teeth have erupted, a full set of braces are placed to align and refine the bite, creating your ideal smile!