Generally, it is best to begin orthodontic treatment as early as possible. At Grand Dental – Aurora, we recommend scheduling a Phase 1 orthodontic consultation before your child is 7 years old. Thanks to our in-house orthodontic specialist and the numerous other dental experts in our office, we will be able to identify developmental issues with your child’s teeth and jaws so that they can be treated as early as recommended. It is all part of providing truly comprehensive dental care for your family. If your child is about the right age for an orthodontic examination, please contact our office today.
At age 7, your child’s permanent teeth will already have started to erupt, but some of their baby teeth remain. It’s at this time an orthodontist can identify potential problems with jaw growth and bite alignment. It is easier to make changes to the teeth and jaws while the mouth is still developing, so finding orthodontic issues early is best. As such, the American Association of Orthodontists considers age 7 to be the ideal time to set up an orthodontic appointment. Doing so gives our orthodontic specialist a chance to correct the development of your child’s mouth as needed.
Many orthodontic issues can only be identified by a trained specialist, which is what makes the initial appointment with an orthodontic specialist so important. A general dentist or pediatric dentist may also be able to recognize the need for orthodontic intervention during a routine checkup. Additionally, there are many symptoms you as a parent may notice which can serve as a warning that orthodontic care is necessary. Such symptoms include:
Each Phase 1 orthodontic treatment plan is individualized based on the current alignment of the teeth and other dental concerns. Different types of orthodontic appliances may be used depending on the situation. For example, an expander may be used to gradually widen the child’s upper jaw or palate to ensure that there is plenty of room for the adult teeth to erupt. If your child has lost a baby tooth earlier than they should have, a space maintainer may be needed to prevent nearby teeth from drifting into the gap. In certain cases, braces might be worn for a short amount of time.
Phase 1 treatment typically lasts around 10 to 14 months, but the exact amount of time will vary depending on the changes that need to be made. Afterwards, we will continue to monitor the growth and development of your child’s mouth. If necessary, Phase II orthodontics will begin around the age of 11, when most of the permanent teeth will have erupted.
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