If your child’s dentist has recently informed you that they need to see an orthodontist, you might have a lot of questions on your mind—especially if it feels like it’s a little too early for your child to receive braces. However, some kids benefit from early orthodontic treatment, as it sets up their smiles for fewer future problems, or even allows them to skip wearing braces entirely if luck is on their side. Here’s what you need to know about phase 1 orthodontics and some of the reasons for these treatments being necessary so that you and your little one can head into the process with incredible confidence!
A Closer Look at Phase 1 Orthodontics
Phase 1 orthodontics, also sometimes called interceptive orthodontics or pediatric orthodontics, includes treatments that can be initiated while the baby teeth are still present, and some adult teeth have erupted. These treatments often include devices like expanders, space maintainers, or tongue cribs. The main objective is to make future orthodontic treatment easier, or even unnecessary altogether since orthodontic issues generally become more difficult to treat later on. It poses virtually no risk to the growing permanent teeth, either—though it does sometimes make oral hygiene a little trickier for kids to keep up with.
Reasons for Phase 1 Orthodontics
It’s recommended by dentists that every child undergoes an orthodontic evaluation by age 7 or 8. This includes a review of your child’s teeth, bite, and jaw growth in order to determine whether they’re a good candidate for early orthodontics.
That said, some kids are lucky and inherit teeth that are relatively straight from the get-go, making orthodontic treatment a quick and easy task. On the other hand, some youngsters end up needing early intervention. It’s also worth noting that not every child is an immediate candidate either, especially if they have poor oral hygiene. Here are some of the reasons early orthodontics might be recommended for your child:
- To correct jaw position
- To address bite issues like crossbites, open bites, and underbites
- To guide jawbone growth to make room for erupting teeth
- To correct improper development caused by bad habits like thumb sucking
- To minimize the risk of damage to protruding front teeth
- To improve oral functionality
- To enhance self-esteem
Even though baby teeth are meant to fall out, there are still numerous unparalleled benefits to outfitting them with orthodontic solutions, especially if it eliminates some of the potential for future problems!
About the Author
Dr. Neil Dean received his DDS from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and has proudly served families in the Flower Mound, TX community for several years. His practice is excited to offer a wide range of orthodontic services for patients of all ages, so if you’re wondering if your little one is ready to begin their orthodontic journey, you can count on his talented team to help! If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to arrange an appointment, you can contact his practice online or over the phone for further assistance. Telephone: (972) 884-5450.