Maybe the dentist suggested your child see an orthodontist and you feel like he/she is too young get braces! The AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) recommends children be evaluated by an orthodontist around age 7 to check the progress of their erupting dentition. At age 7, most children will have lost some baby teeth and have some permanent teeth. This is the ideal time for Dr. Hatcher to examine your child and determine whether your child is a candidate for early interceptive treatment, also known as Phase 1 treatment.
The main goal of early interceptive treatment is to make sure there is adequate space for all of the permanent teeth. Oftentimes, children can have a narrow upper arch from thumbsucking or pacifier use causing decreased space for permanent teeth. When caught early, an orthodontist can place an appliance in the upper arch designed to slowly expand it, creating space to accommodate all of the permanent teeth and improving the way the upper and lower arch fit together.
As a parent, we know you want the best for child’s smile. Early evaluation and intervention, if necessary, is the way to maximize your child’s chances of having a healthy, functional and aesthetically pleasing life-long smile.
At the end of Phase 1 treatment, your child will have a resting period to allow all of the baby teeth to fall out and most of the permanent teeth to erupt.
Once your child loses all of their baby teeth usually around 12 or 13 years old, the orthodontist will recommend braces. We have a variety of treatment options, but the most commonly used is traditional metal braces.
Having early interceptive treatment can help mitigate orthodontic problems that could potentially cause a more invasive treatment including extracting permanent teeth. If you think your child should see an orthodontist for evaluation, call Reach Orthodontics today. We offer complimentary consultations to help you make the best choices for your child’s smile.