A Two-Phase Treatment Plan
Following the guidelines set by the American Association of Orthodontists, we recommend that all children are screened by an orthodontist for issues treated through orthodontics by the age of seven. At our office, we recognize that the early detection of orthodontic issues is best suited to fit a two-staged treatment plan. While much of orthodontics is practiced after the baby teeth have naturally fallen out, some stages of dental correction are best carried out while the child is still growing. Early treatment is advised to help fix misalignment of the jaw, as well as other growth and alignment problems, such as an overbite. Early treatment can help guide the growth of adult teeth by making sure the teeth have enough space to come in. This can reduce the need for extractions later in life.
Two-Phased Orthodontic Treatment Plan
Early treatment, also known as phase one, happens when your child still has most of their primary teeth, although it can include some of their permanent teeth. The optimal age to start this treatment is between the ages 7-10. This phase can last for 6-12 months.
However, in many cases the first phase of treatment requires further care to fix dental issues, though less intensive care than would have been needed if there had been no early intervention. This leads into the part of treatment known as phase 2, which involves braces.
In the time between phases 1 and 2, your child may be given a retainer or a wire to keep their jaw and teeth in the optimal position for treatment. Our office will schedule your child appointments with our orthodontist to check up on the development of their permanent teeth, and work with you to figure out the best time to move on to phase 2 of treatment.
Single Stage Orthodontic Treatment
Single stage treatment consists of upper and lower braces, and can last up to 30 months. For patients that are younger, treatment can begin as soon as their permanent teeth have come in, or, in some cases, slightly before the extrusion of these teeth. Depending on their dental development, this treatment can begin between the age of 10-13 years old.
Single stage orthodontic treatment consists of one stage, which utilizes braces to shift the teeth into their intended position. This is intended to create an attractive smile. After the braces are removed, your orthodontist may recommend the use of a retainer to preserve the alignment of your child’s teeth.