Early Orthodontic Treatment
When is the best time to begin orthodontics?
Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at the proper time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. Most kids do not need treatment at this young age. Most kids do not need treatment until all of their permanent teeth are in. Those kids who do need early treatment, however, benefit greatly from treatment at a young age. The best way to determine if your child needs early treatment is to have an orthodontic evaluation at a young age. If your child does not need early treatment, we will see them periodically over time to evaluate their dental development and their need for orthodontic treatment in the future.
What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides jaw growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic treatment is not necessary at a young age, Dr. Crain will carefully monitor your child over time and begin treatment when it is ideal.
Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for an initial evaluation?
By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. At this time, Dr. Crain can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.
What are the advantages of Early Treatment (Phase One Treatment)?
Some of the most direct results of early treatment are:
- Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserving space for unerupted teeth