Early Treatment

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The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child receives his or her first orthodontic screening by age 7.  This examination will give our doctors the ability to identify orthodontic problems in your child's mouth and explain their implications.  Identifying problems this early in development allows us to determine if orthodontic treatment at this early age is needed or if these issues can be treated successfully later.

Some of problems we typically see at a child's examination at this age are missing teeth, crowding, crossbite and overbite.  Most often these issues do not need to be treated at this age.  We would then place the child on a recall cycle every 4-6 months so we can monitor their growth and development, and determine when active treatment should be initiated.

However, sometimes active treatment is needed at this age.  Treatment that is initiated around 8-10 years old is often called Phase I, or also known as interceptive treatment.  The Phase I treatment plan can include a palatal expander, a removable appliance, or partial braces.  These orthodontic appliances may be placed to prevent a problem from occurring, correct a current problem or help direct jaw growth.  Multiple problems with tooth alignment, gums, jaws and facial problems can be corrected with the proper Phase I treatment.