Early Orthodontic Treatment
The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that all children visit an orthodontist right around their seventh birthday. Most children will not need early treatment, but those presenting with extreme orthodontic abnormalities will. Early screening allows us to determine who needs treatment sooner, and gives us the chance to avoid invasive measures, such as surgery and tooth extraction, later on.
Problems with the teeth can have serious consequences if not addressed. They can cause tooth decay, premature wearing of the teeth, digestive issues, sleeping and breathing problems, jaw pain, and the balance of the face. Early treatment guides growth to address all these factors and more and does it with appliances alone—no surgery needed.
It is important to note that parents cannot always see problems. Sometimes they are very clear, easy to see while a child talks, chews, or smiles. But in some cases, only an expert will be able to tel. That is why children must see an orthodontist to be evaluated.
Early treatment can be broken down into four steps. They are:
- Phase One: Appliances are used for about a year.
- Resting Phase: The appliances come off and the teeth are monitored for a few years.
- Phase Two: Appliances are used again to perfect the bite.
- Retention Phase: Retainers are used to keep the teeth in place.
If your child is seven or older, schedule their consultation today.