EARLY ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT
Take the Early Orthodontic Initiative
While age 7 is the best time to get evaluated for orthodontic care, only about 10–15% of kids need orthodontics at this early age, so if you have missed this window of opportunity, that’s OK—we successfully treat children and adults of all ages so that they can achieve their very best lifelong smiles.
Typically, age 7 is the ideal age for the first phase of two-phase orthodontic treatment to begin. Two-phase orthodontics is the combination of early orthodontics (phase one) and what people traditionally think of as orthodontic treatment—moving teeth with braces or Invisalign® after all of the adult teeth have erupted (phase two). It usually involves techniques that help guide the growth of the jaw, allowing all of the adult teeth ample room to grow in.
THE BENEFITS OF EARLY ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT FOR CHILDREN
Early treatment when it is necessary is advantageous because a young child’s teeth have not finished erupting and their jaws are still developing, which allows us to guide the rest of their adult teeth as they come in and fix any jaw size or alignment issues before they become more serious. Some of the techniques we use in early orthodontics include using a palatal expander to align the upper jaw with the lower jaw, partial braces to fix a misaligned bite or gaps and tooth crowding, and headgear.
When needed, early orthodontic treatment has many benefits, including
- Providing more room for crowded erupting teeth
- Preserving space for teeth that have not yet erupted
- Creating facial symmetry by manipulating jaw growth
- Reducing the possible need for tooth extraction
- Reducing overall treatment time
- Reducing the cost of braces for kids when the time comes
To discover if early orthodontic treatment is recommended for your child, Dr. Warren will meet with you and your child during a complimentary consultation. During this appointment, the ideal timeline for treatment will be established and a personalized treatment plan with a recommendation for the type of orthodontic treatment that is best for your child will be created.
Parents, for more information about orthodontic treatment for your children, check out our Braces FAQ.
WHY A CHILD MIGHT NEED EARLY TREATMENT
Here are some of the signs that your child may be a candidate for early orthodontic treatment:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth (children typically lose their first baby tooth around age 5 and have all their permanent teeth by age 13)
- Difficulty chewing and/or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Continued thumb-sucking after age 5
- Speech impediments
- Protruding teeth
- Malocclusion (crossbite, overbite, underbite)
- Crowded front teeth as early as age 7 or 8
If you have concerns about your child’s dental development, or if your child is showing one or more of the above signs, we encourage you to request a consultation for your child with our trusted orthodontist. We look forward to guiding you through the process of your child’s orthodontic care at Warren Orthodontics. Thank you for the opportunity to care for you and your family.