What is Early Orthodontic Treatment?
We sometimes refer to early orthodontic treatment as Phase One treatment. Early orthodontic treatment is when we start treatment earlier than traditional treatment. (Yes, we win the Captain Obvious award for that one)! Usually, early treatment begins around 8 or 9 years old. In other words, before all their permanent teeth have come in. Phase Two treatment typically begins around the age of 11.
This early treatment can help correct problems with the growth of their jaw and underbites or overbites. These conditions can cause overcrowding when their permanent teeth come in. In other words, they can cause your child to have crooked teeth. So, early detection and prevention are essential.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that you bring your child in for an orthodontic checkup before they reach seven years old. It’s much easier to correct teeth and jaw problems before all of their baby teeth have fallen out.
When is Early Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?
Each child is different, so the easiest way to know if early orthodontic treatment is needed is to call us and schedule an appointment for them.
Here are some of the things an orthodontist will look for:
- Overcrowded teeth
- Trouble chewing or biting
- Speech impediments
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that do not come together when their jaw is closed
- Their jaw is too far forward or too far back
- Breathing through their mouth
- Sucking their thumb
- Abnormal facial structure
Even if you don’t observe any of those problems, it’s still important to bring your child in for a free consultation before all their permanent teeth come in.
Of course, you may find out that their teeth and jaw are growing perfectly. And that can be a comfort to you. But if they aren’t, it can make their treatment much shorter and easier than if you waited. Yay fast and easy! BOO annoying and lengthy!
Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic problems such as crowding of the teeth, too much space between the teeth, jaw growth problems, protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb-sucking habits.
Most children lose all their baby teeth by age 13, and by the end of their teen years, the jaw bones will harden and stop growing. Orthodontic procedures for adults often take more time and can involve tooth extraction or oral surgery. Early orthodontic treatment can help prevent the need for orthodontics as an adult, leaving little to no chance of extraction or surgery in the future.
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Not every child will need early orthodontic treatment. But your best assurance is to have them seen by an orthodontist. Then, if there’s any problem, early treatment can prevent it from becoming more serious in the future.
We care about your child’s health and future well-being, so please get in touch with us and request a free consultation. We’ll answer any questions you might have because we want you to be just as comfortable and excited to work with us as we are with you!
Dr. Tripp Cobb