Genetics can play a major role in misaligned teeth; therefore, if either biological parent had, or should have had, orthodontic treatment, chances are their child will need some type of treatment as well. However, there are also several non-genetic issues that can result in the need for orthodontic treatment. For example, children who use a pacifier, drink a bottle and/or suck on their fingers or thumbs for an extended length of time can negatively affect the growth of their mouths. These habits typically lead to an overbite as well as an irregularly-shaped palate (i.e., the roof of the mouth): Orthodontic treatment is necessary to fix these irregularities. If you think that orthodontic treatment may be in your child’s future, you might be able to prevent orthodontic problems through early intervention.
Some benefits of seeking early orthodontic treatment:
- Reduce the Likelihood that permanent (i.e., secondary) teeth will need to be extracted.
- Prevent the development of a serious orthodontic issue.
- Create enough space for the secondary teeth to erupt.
- Help guide the permanent teeth into position.
- Correct the shape and size of small, awkwardly-shaped jaws (e.g., a crossbite).
- Reduce the likelihood that the protruding permanent teeth will sustain an injury during eruption.
- Intercept a developing orthodontic problem before it progresses into a more serious issue.
- Reduce the likelihood of jaw surgery to address an underbite.
Prevent Orthodontic Problems Through Early Intervention
Unless a problem is noticed sooner, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that every child visit an orthodontist once he or she turns 7 years old. At Docbraces we know the importance of early intervention, which is one of the reasons this initial consultation is complimentary.
Besides providing an overall pleasing appearance, teeth that work well together allow your child to bite and then chew food correctly. In addition, properly aligned teeth contribute to his or her ability to speak clearly.
During your child’s initial orthodontic checkup at Docbraces, an examination is performed to determine if there are any existing orthodontic problems as well as whether a future problem is developing. If early treatment is indicated, the goal is to improve the environment prior to the permanent teeth erupting. This early orthodontic treatment is frequently referred to as Phase 1.
Early orthodontic treatments and what they can address:
- Early treatment may be as simple as the removal of a baby tooth so the underlying permanent tooth can erupt into its appropriate place.
- If the upper jaw is extremely narrow, the permanent teeth may not have an adequate amount of room to erupt. When orthodontic treatment is sought early, a palate expander can be used to widen the jaw.
- Habit appliances can be used to help children stop finger- and thumb-sucking.
Once most of the secondary teeth are in, braces may be recommended. At this point, braces will optimize the alignment between the teeth and the jaw. When braces are recommended following these early treatments, this is referred to as Phase 2.
Early Orthodontic Treatment (Phase 1) vs. Comprehensive Treatment (Phase 2)
Phase 1 treatment is performed when the top jaw is still growing and the child has a mixture of permanent and baby teeth (7 to 12 years of age).
Phase 2 treatment begins after the majority of the permanent teeth have erupted and the child’s face is actively growing (12 to 18 years of age). This second-phase of treatment is designed to ensure each tooth is in a precise location within the mouth where it balances perfectly with the tongue, lips, cheeks and other teeth. During the second-phase of treatment, a child usually wears a full set of braces (upper and lower). Once these braces are removed, retainers are worn to maintain the straight teeth and preserve his or her beautiful smile
Docbraces: Expert Orthodontists and State-of-the-Art Facilities
Our patients are important to us, which is why we offer innovative, personalized treatment plans, incentive programs, flexible office hours, T-Link online portals, family discounts, interest-free payment plans and complimentary initial consultations, including second opinions. If you have a child 7 years of age or older, who has yet to see an orthodontist for an evaluation, contact Docbraces today at 1-866-639-7695 or click here to make an appointment with one of our expert orthodontists.
At Docbraces, we are dedicated to providing patients with the highest-quality of care at our beautifully-designed, patient-oriented, state-of-the-art-facilities. Our offices are located in Moncton, Truro, London, Charlottetown, Summerside, Ottawa, Halifax, Amherst and Dartmouth.