Getting orthodontic care early in your child’s life can prevent significant issues in the future. At Grand Dental – Lockport, we highly recommend that children come in for a Phase 1 orthodontic consultation before they turn 7 years old. Our in-house orthodontic specialist and the rest of our experienced team will be able to evaluate the development of your child’s teeth and jaws to determine if early treatment is recommended. It’s part of our commitment to providing comprehensive dental care for your family. If your child needs an orthodontic consultation, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
By the time your child is 7 years old, they will have some permanent teeth and some baby teeth. It’s at this point in their development that an orthodontic specialist can detect the earliest warning signs of problems with their jaw growth and bite alignment. It’s much easier to correct these issues early when they’re still minor and while the oral structures are still growing than later in life. That’s why the American Association of Orthodontics encourages parents to schedule an orthodontic consultation for their children by the age of 7. Early evaluation gives our orthodontist a chance to prevent serious issues as needed.
It’s impossible to know for sure if your child needs Phase 1 orthodontics without a consultation because most orthodontic issues can only be identified by a trained specialist. A general dentist or pediatric dentist may also be able to recognize the signs that early orthodontic intervention is needed during a routine checkup. At home, there are several symptoms parents can notice in their child that could mean orthodontic care is necessary, such as:
Phase 1 orthodontic treatment plans are customized to meet the unique needs of a patient. Depending on the current alignment of your child’s teeth and other dental concerns, different types of orthodontic appliances may be recommended. For instance, an expander can help gradually widen your little one’s upper jaw or palate so that there’s enough room for all the permanent teeth to erupt. If a baby tooth has been lost earlier than anticipated, a space maintainer may be used to keep nearby teeth from shifting into the gap. In some cases, limited braces may be worn for a short time to reposition the bite.
Generally, Phase 1 treatment takes about 10-14 months to complete, but the exact timeframe you can expect will depend on the changes that need to be made. Once treatment is completed, we’ll continue to monitor the development of your child’s oral structures. If needed, we may recommend Phase II orthodontics around the age of 11, once most of their permanent teeth have come in.