At What Age Should My Child Be Seen By An Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child be evaluated by the age of seven. Early detection of some orthodontic problems is important in order to take early corrective action and avoid more difficult treatment later.
What Are Phase I (Interceptive Treatment) & Phase II Treatments?
Phase I or interceptive treatment can start while the child has most of their baby teeth and a few of their permanent front incisors around age seven. The goal of Phase I treatment is to intercept a moderate or severe orthodontic problem early, and reduce and/or eliminate it. Problems include; skeletal dysplasia, crossbite, and crowding. Phase I treatment uses the early growth spurt and turns a difficult orthodontic problem into a manageable one. It also reduces the need for extractions or surgery and delivers better long-term results. Most Phase I patients require a short Phase II treatment.Phase II usually occurs a number of years later, after most of the permanent teeth have erupted. The goal of Phase II treatment is to achieve an ideal occlusion and esthetics of all of the permanent teeth.
What are the benefits of early treatment?
Early treatment provides the opportunity to:
- guide the growth of the young jaw bones creating a better environment for those new emerging permanent teeth
- guide incoming teeth into optimal positions
- regulate the width of the jaws
- lower the risk of trauma to prominent front teeth
- correct harmful sucking habits
- reduce the likelihood of teeth becoming stuck or impacted under the gums
- preserve or gain space for arriving permanent teeth
Does Everyone Need A Phase I Treatment?
Absolutely not! Only certain bites require early intervention. All others can wait until most if not all their permanent teeth erupt.
Can I Wait On Phase I Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment Until My Child Is Older?
This is not recommended. If your child needs Phase I treatment, this usually means that he/she has a difficult problem that requires attention now. If no orthodontic action is taken, treatment options become limited, more difficult, and the long-term stability may be compromised. In addition, not doing phase I may lead to extractions, oral surgery, and increased costs.
What Is Full (Or Comprehensive) Orthodontic Treatment?
This is another name for orthodontic treatment in the permanent dentition at any age. It is commonly used when a Phase I treatment was not performed
What Is The Length /Duration Of Orthodontic Treatment?
Braces may be on for between six and 24 months, depending on the age of the patient, the severity of the problem, the patient’s cooperation, and the degree of movement possible. Dr. Claudia generally finishes most of her treatments in 1-2 years. Her treatment times are less than most orthodontists due to her treatment modality.