Early Treatment

EARLY TREATMENT

Every patient is unique, and there is no best time to explore orthodontic treatment. Intervening early, however, can help to prevent more serious issues. If you see issues emerging, a good time to schedule your first visit is around age 7. An important factor is how many baby teeth your child still has. Most children have lost all of them by age 12, and our younger patients wear braces between the ages of 12 and 15.

OPTIONS FOR EVERY SMILE
Many of our younger patients love metal braces for the variety of colorful elastics offered. We have clear braces for those wanting something less noticeable, and for some, Invisalign® clear aligners is the perfect option.

FUN & POSITIVE
We have a friendly team, and bright, colorful offices. With video games, in-office contests, and a Kid’s Club, many of our patients look forward to their visits!

Why AGE 7?

Most children begin to see their first permanent molars at around age 7. As orthodontists, we’re trained to spot subtle issues with jaw growth and emerging teeth. Intercepting issues early can prevent the need for more aggressive steps like surgery or extractions down the road. In the majority of cases, we can monitor a child’s teeth and bite and let you know when it’s the right time to start treatment. It’s for these reasons that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends age 7 for a child’s first evaluation.

WHAT WE LOOK FOR

  • As the first permanent molars appear, we begin to evaluate the child’s bite, looking at side-to-side and back-to-front tooth relationships.
  • This early visit gives us a baseline that can help us predict the ideal time to begin treatment.
  • By starting early, we can achieve outcomes that won’t be possible once the face and jaw are done growing.

8 REASONS YOU MAY NEED EARLY TREATMENT

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth or problems with emerging teeth (sometimes only noticeable through an x-ray).
  • Protruding upper front teeth, which may be at a risk of trauma.
  • Severe crowding of the teeth.
  • Crossbite of the front or back teeth (which may cause trauma or indicate an unfavorable growth pattern).
  • Crossbite of the back teeth (may cause the jaw to shift and/or grow off to one side).
  • Difficulty chewing or biting.
  • Oral habits such as finger or thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or mouth breathing.
  • Improved self-esteem through an improved smile.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF EARLY TREATMENT?

  • Correcting facial asymmetry and guiding proper jaw growth
  • Fixing crossbites
  • Alleviating the crowding of teeth
  • Reducing the risk of injury to teeth
  • Creating space for permanent teeth
  • Improving chewing, speaking, and breathing
  • Breaking bad oral habits
  • Preventing the need for extraction of permanent teeth
  • Reducing the need for corrective jaw surgery
  • Making later treatment faster, easier, and more affordable
  • Boosting confidence and self-esteem
  • Creating a spectacular smile

Meet Isabelle

When 7-year-old Isabelle had her first examination, we diagnosed an underbite. Using a cutting-edge software to create a virtual 3D model of her mouth, we designed a personalized treatment plan to guide her jaw growth and encourage proper placement of her permanent teeth. We created a series of custom Invisalign® clear aligners paired with Invisalign® rubber bands. The aligners will move Isabelle’s teeth into position, while the rubber bands will help to shift the jaw into place to correct her bite. Isabelle is loving her Phase 1 treatment. Her smooth, custom-molded aligners are virtually invisible. Since they’re removeable, she can brush and floss as normal, and eat all of the foods that she loves.

A CHILD’S FIRST VISIT

    1. TAKE THE GRAND TOUR
      Our friendly team will greet you, collect all of the information that we need, and then show you around the office.

 

    1. LET’S TAKE A LOOK!
      A team member will take diagnostic records, including digital photos, and digital low-dose x-rays with our i-CATTM imaging system. This lets our doctors see every aspect of your child’s dental and facial anatomy while using the least amount of x-ray exposure.

 

    1. TIME FOR THE EXAM!
      Your doctor will perform a thorough exam to assess your child’s teeth, bite, and facial structure. We’ll talk about oral habits like losing baby teeth, and answer any questions you may have.

 

    1. TIME FOR A PLAN!
      In most cases, kids won’t need treatment right away. We’ll use the x-rays and images to explain to you and your child any issues that might be emerging. If we determine that a Phase 1 treatment is advisable, we’ll design a personalized treatment program and answer your questions. If immediate action is not recommended, we’ll see you at your next complimentary check-up in about a year.