According to the American Association of Orthodontists, every child by the age of seven should have an orthodontic evaluation. Following are some of the reasons why your child should have an orthodontic evaluation – and why early treatment may be necessary:
Interceptive treatment is a phased type of orthodontics that means diagnosing and treating malocclusions (bad bites) at an early stage to prevent and/or lessen the severity of orthodontic problems in the future.
Phase I in interceptive treatment, typically recommended for children between the ages of six and ten years old, is an early treatment designed to maximize the benefit of young age with continuously developing bone and teeth and prevent future issues that could require extensive treatment and even surgery. This phase involves different types of appliances such as a rapid palatal expander (RPE) and/or a partial set of braces. Phase I treatment can range over a period of six to twelve months.
Phase I may be recommended when a child still has some of their baby teeth and before all of their permanent teeth have erupted. Once Phase I is completed, retainers are given to maintain the treatment outcome until Phase II treatment is ready, which is usually when almost all permanent teeth have emerged. Phase II will usually consist of braces or clear aligners, but additional appliances may be necessary.
While parents may think that misaligned baby teeth are harmless because they’ll eventually fall out, this is far from true. Baby teeth actually play an important role in clearing the path for the permanent teeth, in addition to enabling your child to eat, speak, and breathe comfortably. Early diagnosis and necessary early treatment are very important to allow normal growth of facial structures.
Issues with baby teeth can commonly lead to problems in all of these areas, and without early intervention a child will usually need more complex and extended treatments to correct their problems. The goal of Phase I Orthodontics is to avoid and lessen future orthodontic problems by correcting current ones.
After successful Phase I treatment — in which proper room has been created for permanent teeth to find their eruption path — there’s usually a resting period where the teeth are left alone to erupt naturally. Your child’s orthodontist will guide you on when to begin Phase II (if needed).
Your child’s pediatric dentist (or an orthodontist) will be able to tell if he or she will benefit from Phase I treatment. However, there are some telltale signs that you may notice yourself. These could include:
Remember that orthodontic treatment is much easier, simpler and faster when a child is young and their facial bones haven’t fully developed yet. With Phase I orthodontics, future problems can be stopped before they even start to help your child achieve a beautiful smile they’ll always be proud of!
Schedule your consultation at Park Smiles NYC today
If your child is seven years of age or younger and their teeth have crowding or spacing problems, an orthodontic evaluation at Park Smiles NYC is the first step to getting them the help they need.
Our skilled orthodontic team is here to help your child achieve a sparkling, straight and healthy smile for years to come. Schedule a consultation today by contacting us at (212) 988-6724.
Attaining a healthy, straight smile is like a Walk in the Park – at Park Smiles NYC!