Early Orthodontic Treatment

early orthodontic treatment

Early Orthodontic Treatment

Most orthodontic patients enter into treatment right around the time they begin puberty. However, some children require treatment earlier on in life. Here is what parents need to know about early orthodontic treatment, also called two-phase treatment.

The Magic of Age Seven

Our office, as well as numerous professional orthodontic organizations, suggest that all children see an orthodontist on or directly after their seventh birthday. At this age, children tend to have a good mixture of adult teeth and baby teeth. As such, the bite relationship is clear, making it easy for the trained eye to spot serious problems.

Understanding Early Treatment

Early treatment is not recommended except when the orthodontic problems found are significant. If there are issues present that the doctor is confident can be treated with appliances alone at a later date, they will not suggest early intervention. If the problems will require surgery, tooth extractions, and other painful measures if not addressed until later in life, early intervention is recommended. This means that if the doctor urges you to start treatment for your child at a young age, it is vital to their wellbeing.

Breaking Down Two-Phase Treatment

Breaking Down Two-Phase Treatment

  • Phase one: During this phase, appliances are worn, but the focus is less on moving the teeth into place and more on controlling how the jaws grown. This allows the doctor to address things such as overbites and underbites without resorting to surgery.
  • Rest: At this time, the appliances are removed for a few years, thought retainers may be worn.
  • Phase two: During this phase, appliances are used again, this time with focus on tooth position, getting them into their ideal locations.
  • Retention: Retainers are used to keep everything in place.

If your child has turned seven and has yet to see an orthodontist, schedule your initial consultation.