Will My Child Need Orthodontic Treatment?
When people think of orthodontic treatment, they tend to picture adolescents wearing braces. But did you know that problems with your child’s bite can be identified from a very young age? Treating orthodontic issues early on can minimize or even prevent future complications.
Interceptive Orthodontics – An Overview
Interceptive orthodontics, or phase 1 orthodontics, takes place when young children still have their baby teeth. While some bite problems can be addressed after all the permanent teeth come in, they often respond better when treatment starts early.
Phase 1 orthodontics typically takes place between ages 7 – 11 when the teeth, jaws, and gums are malleable and highly responsive to treatment, ensuring quicker results. Orthodontic treatment at a young age stops abnormal development and guides dental and skeletal growth. That helps correct or reduce the severity of bite problems.
Will Your Child Need Early Orthodontic Treatment?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends having orthodontic evaluations performed by age 7. Many developmental concerns are identified during this stage and can be corrected before they become more complex problems. Our team at Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry will recommend treatment, if needed, based on your child’s unique needs.
Early orthodontic treatment can help correct or minimize teeth crowding, jaw alignment problems, overbites, underbites, and crossbites. It also addresses narrow dental arches, protruding front teeth, and the early loss of baby teeth. Early orthodontic care corrects these concerns before they progress or become more challenging to address when the jawbones are fully developed.
Phase 1 orthodontics can reduce the need for or the complexity of future orthodontic treatments. It helps create properly shaped arches for future permanent teeth to come in and ensures ideal jaw growth. It also helps improve facial balance and lowers the risk of impacted teeth. Early orthodontic intervention provides tremendous value, reducing treatment time and the complexity of orthodontic treatments down the road.
Early Orthodontic Treatment Options
Phase 1 orthodontic treatments include the following:
- Palatal expansion to create the needed space for developing teeth
- Correcting the alignment of the upper and lower jaws
- Holding an upper jaw back to allow a slower-growing lower jaw to catch up
- Expanding the growing jaw bone to prevent serious bite or jaw issues
- Selective extractions to make space for crowded teeth
- Guiding erupting teeth to a more favorable position
- Correcting protruding teeth to minimize injury
- Space maintainers to prevent neighboring teeth from moving toward a gap created by premature tooth loss
- Addressing thumb-sucking or other habits before they cause long-term damage
Will Your Child Need Braces After Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment?
Early intervention does not necessarily eliminate the need for future orthodontic treatment. However, it helps reduce the complexity of treatment and, in many cases, eliminates the need for corrective surgery.
Phase 2 orthodontics may be required after the permanent teeth are in to fine-tune alignment and bite concerns, meaning your child may require braces or other orthodontic treatment. However, the treatments are typically quicker, more effective, and less costly than those carried out without early treatment.
Interceptive Orthodontics Near Me in Glendale, AZ
Contact Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about early orthodontic intervention. Our team will evaluate your little one’s unique needs and recommend phase 1 orthodontic treatment, if necessary, to set the stage for healthy, beautiful smiles. Call us and schedule your appointment today!