You may wonder why children are being treated orthodontically at a much younger age than when you remember having braces. There are several reasons why that is the case and significant long term benefits to treating children while they have a lot of growth left. Here are some reasons why:
- The opportunity to help jaws grow wider than they would on their own reducing the need for extraction of permanent teeth
- Breaking habits such as thumb and finger sucking which can adversely affect tooth eruption
- Shorter time in fixed appliances as a teenager
- Increased nasal airway and better breathing
- Correcting jaw discrepancies using growth to avoid surgical correction as an adult
The American Academy of Orthodontists recommend children been seen no later than age 7 for their first orthodontic exam. Orthodontic appliances can be used to make space for permanent teeth before they come in reducing the need to extract permanent teeth. Crowding, crossbites, deep bites, overbites and underbites can begin to be corrected as children grow to avoid long term wear, irregular jaw growth, impacted permanent teeth, loss of permanent teeth and even surgery.
Interceptive treatment is a two-phase approach. Phase 1 treatment is done when children are growing and have a mix of primary (baby) teeth and permanent teeth and can include some of the following:
- Palate expanders (for narrow jaws, crossbites and crowding)
- Headgear (for overbites)
- Facemasks (for underbites)
- Bite plates (deep bites)
Phase 2 is what you typically think of as teenage braces and occurs when the last baby tooth is lost. This includes a full set of fixed braces, specifically Damon brackets. Phase 2 treatment is more focused on alignment and bite correction of permanent teeth with Damon braces. Treatment with Damon braces result in a broader, more natural smile with shorter treatment times than conventional braces. Phase 2 can include appliances such as a Carriere Appliance for moderate overbites or a Herbst appliance for severe overbites due to a deficient lower jaw.
Not every child requires a two-phase approach and can be treated in one comprehensive phase. In this case, children are placed in our growth and observation program at no charge and are seen every 6 months for observation appointments to monitor the growth and development of permanent teeth so issues can be addressed as they arise. Scheduling a complimentary new patient consultation is the best way to find out what approach is best for your child. Click below to schedule your new patient appointment.
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Contact our Dublin, Ohio office today to schedule a consultation and learn more about what we offer our patients.
"We had our first orthodontist appointment the other day not knowing what to expect and it was a great experience! My daughter was nervous going in but left happy and we start treatment next week!"
K.D. Cook Ortho Patient
Ready for Special Cases
Dr. Cook and his staff’s combined years of education, training and experience in orthodontics have prepared them to excel in cases within a wide range in level of difficulty. Prospective patients seek out our knowledge and experience when they have been told from other offices that their case is too difficult to be treated at that office. Whether it is early intervention in children with severe overbites, underbites or crowding to adults with surgical or comprehensive restorative needs, we feel confident that we can find a solution together.