Children and Teens
Along with the American Association of Orthodontists, we recommend that a child receive his or her 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 or 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.
To find out if your child is a candidate for early interceptive treatment, contact us today to schedule a complimentary evaluation.
Two Phase Treatment
Why should I undergo two-phase treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment encompasses both tooth straightening and physical, facial changes. Two-phase treatment allows your teeth to achieve a healthy, functional, aesthetic ideal that will stay with you throughout your life.
Why not put off treatment?
If your child has a jaw discrepancy and you wait to do a one-phase treatment until after the permanent teeth have erupted completely, your child might experience an unstable, compromised result.
The First Phase: Laying a foundation for a lifetime of beautiful teeth
This phase first adjusts the size of the jaw to fit all the permanent teeth and then positions the upper and lower jaws in proper relation to each other. Often, children exhibit early signs of jaw issues as they grow up. At an early age, we can recognize whether an upper or lower jaw is growing too quickly or too slowly. If your child is over age six and has jaw discrepancies, he or she is a candidate for early treatment.
Plan now to save your smile later
If used early, children can benefit enormously from treatment utilizing appliances that direct the growth relationship of the upper and lower jaws. This establishes an orthodontic foundation and provides adequate room for the eruption of all the permanent teeth. In the past, many people had to undergo tooth-removal and surgical procedures as adults to correct overcrowding and align the upper and lower jaws. Early correction eliminates the need for these kinds of procedures. However, if you leave a jaw condition untreated until all the permanent teeth erupt, it may grow too severe to achieve the ideal result with braces.
Orthodontic records help customize your treatment
We’ll keep careful orthodontic records consisting of x-rays, teeth models, and photographs. These will help us determine the types of appliances to be used, the duration of treatment time, and the frequency of visits.
In the rest phase, we allow your child’s remaining permanent teeth to erupt. Because retaining devices may interfere with eruption, they’re not used during the rest phase. While the final eruption of the teeth occurs, we allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement. After a successful first phase, the teeth will have plenty of room to find an eruption path. If permanent teeth are restricted with retainers or appliances during this phase, they may become impacted or severely displaced.
Monitoring your teeth’s progress
Teeth are not moved into their final positions during the first phase, but will finish moving during the second phase. In between– during the rest period– certain baby teeth may be removed to enhance eruption. We’ll hold periodic recall appointments to observe the progress, usually on a six-month basis.
Second Phase Treatment: Stay healthy and look attractive
In the second phase, we ensure that each tooth has an exact location in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. Once we establish equilibrium, teeth will properly function together.
Movement & Retention
We used certain types of appliances in the first phase, as dictated by the problem. Once all permanent teeth have erupted, the second phase begins, usually requiring braces for about 24 months. After this phase, retainers are worn to ensure your child retains his or her beautiful smile.