Early Orthodontic Treatment: FAQs

Early Orthodontic Treatment: FAQs

Although the term orthodontic treatment may instill fear in most parents, it shouldn’t scare you. Early orthodontic treatment is recommended for children not only to correct any dental abnormalities on time but also to support the child’s dental growth.

We know you may have questions about orthodontic treatment, so here are a few common questions we get.

1. What is the orthodontic treatment?

Let’s be clear, early dental checkup and orthodontic evaluation are different. Your child’s first dental visit should begin before they turn one or after their first baby tooth emerges. Early orthodontic evaluation, on the other hand, begins when the permanent teeth start to erupt.

2. Why is orthodontic treatment and evaluation done?

Orthodontic treatment for kids is done to detect, prevent, and correct dental problems and eliminate the need for extractions and unnecessary dental surgeries later in life.

3. What can you expect after the evaluation?

The orthodontic evaluation may yield three outcomes:

  • No orthodontic treatment necessary
  • Early treatment is required
  • Treatment is not needed now but monitoring is required

4. What’s the right age for orthodontic treatment?

According to the American Association of Orthodontics, seven is the right age for an orthodontic evaluation. At this age, most permanent teeth start to emerge and dental problems can be easily detected and treated.

5. Does my child need treatment?

Not all children need orthodontic treatment. The treatment is done on a need to need basis depending on the dental condition of the child. However, we recommend a regular orthodontic evaluation to monitor the growth and development of the teeth and jawbone.

Orthodontic evaluation is throughout their childhood and adolescent. Remember the back teeth emerge at age 12 while the jawbone attains its maximum growth between 14 and 17 years.

6. When is treatment necessary?

Dr. Kathleen Valencia recommends orthodontic treatment for kids to treat various dental problems such as:

  • Crossbite is a common childhood dental problem and only orthodontic treatment can fix the problem. A normal bite is when the upper teeth sit slightly outside the lower teeth. When the two upper and lower teeth don’t meet correctly, it is considered malocclusion. If not corrected early, misaligned teeth and jaw can lead to other dental problems such as decay or gum disease.
  • Overcrowding occurs when there’s no enough space for the teeth resulting in crooked or overlapping teeth.
  • Protruding teeth are caused by thumb-sucking, overcrowding, or having larger teeth than normal size.
  • Excessively spaced, extra or missing teeth

All these dental problems can be done when the child has some baby teeth.

6. How is orthodontic treatment performed?

Early orthodontic treatment is done in two phases depending on the severity of the dental problem.

  • Phase one

The treatment begins at age seven and is recommended for dental irregularities such as crowded teeth because they are can be easily treated. If such dental problems are not fixed on time, the child may need a tooth extraction to make room for teeth alignment.

In this phase, the orthodontic may give you a palatal expander to correct and expand the upper arch and make room for the permanent teeth.

Phase one is important because it not only prevents dental complications but will improve the child’s esteem and confidence.

  • Phase two

This phase begins when all the permanent teeth have erupted. Braces and aligners are commonly used treatment in this phase. A variety of brace designs are available, and our dentist will guide you in choosing the correct option.

Between phase one and two treatments, there is a resting period where the orthodontist will continue to monitor the growth of the dental structure.

Your Child’s First Orthodontist Visit

An orthodontist first visit is not a fun outing, but shouldn’t be scary either. Our dental team is trained and experienced to deal with children and we will make their time on the orthodontic chair comfortable.

Our orthodontist will also explain the process to you and your child to ensure you know what it entails.

If your child has turned seven or has dental irregularities, come visit our dental clinic in Weston, FL or call us and schedule an appointment.

954-384-9908 Book An Appointment