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Orthodontic Treatment for Kids

Children should see an Orthodontist no later than their 7th birthday!

Why Age 7?

Image of Child with Orthodontic TreatmentThe American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children are seen by an orthodontist by age 7. At age 7, the permanent (adult) molars and incisors should be present. The orthodontist can determine if there are any potential issues with tooth eruption and development. Most issues can be resolved with a later single phase of treatment, but there are specific incidents where an early, limited phase of orthodontics can be extremely beneficial. Even without treatment, seeing patients at a young age allows the orthodontist to monitor growth and development and select the ideal timing to achieve the best individualized treatment plan. At Pierce Orthodontics, there is no charge for these observation appointments!

Why Phase I?

Early treatment gives us the opportunity to:

  • Safely widen the upper jaw
  • Reduce need to remove permanent teeth
  • Reduce or eliminate need for jaw surgery
  • Decrease risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
  • Stop harmful habits such as thumbsucking
  • Improve aesthetics and self-esteem
  • Simplify and shorten treatment time for definitive orthodontic treatment
  • Decrease likelihood of impacted teeth
  • Improve speech development and lip competence
  • Guide permanent teeth into proper position

Does my child need Phase I?

Phase I may be necessary for your child if they exhibit signs of:

  • A crossbite- whether it’s in the front or in the back
  • Habits such as thumbsucking or mouth breathing
  • Severe crowding
  • Blocked out or impacted teeth
  • Space maintenance if a baby tooth is lost early
  • Self-esteem issues due to spaced or crooked teeth

Image of child with bracesHow long will this Orthodontic Treatment for Children take?

This phase is often limited to 12- 14 months. Depending on the development and eruption of the permanent teeth, a second phase of treatment after the eruption of the permanent teeth may or may not be necessary.

What happens after Orthodontic Treatment?

After Phase I is complete, we like to continue to see our patients at regular intervals to continue to monitor them through the eruption of the permanent dentition. Retainers are given to hold things in place during this observation period and adjustments may be made as teeth are lost and new teeth erupt into place.

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