Early or phase I treatment
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children get a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. There are certain dental growth and development problems that benefit from early treatment intervention. These are: dental crowding, anterior or posterior crossbite, open or severe deep bite, underbite, severe dental protrusion, ectopic eruption, oral habits such as thumb-finger sucking or tongue thrusting. Early treatment usually last 6-12 months and helps produce dental benefits that might be less attainable at a later age.
Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you will be giving your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile. Early treatment enables your orthodontist to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight.
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches.
- Improve the nasal airway
- Create more space for crowded teeth.
- Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life.
- Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems
By starting treatment early, we are able to recognize potential problems and correct them before they become more serious. The corrections made during early treatment are retained with space maintainers, fixed or removable retainers. Patients are then placed in our observation program. In this phase, your child is observed until their remaining permanent teeth erupt. Phase II or comprehensive treatment is started once all the permanent teeth are in place.
To find out if your child would be advised to undergo early treatment, schedule your complimentary consultation.
Our goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time!
Does every child need early treatment?
Absolutely not! Only certain bites require early intervention. Most children are simply observed during their growth and development stage to determine the optimum time to begin orthodontic treatment. A majority of children will need only one stage treatment in their teens, once their permanent teeth have erupted.
Problems to watch for in young patients that need to be treated orthodontically
While attending an appt with my son recently (who was being seen for an adjustment), I asked Dr. Parsons if she would look at an issue that I had with a permanent retainer. I explained to her that the orthodontist that put it in was located in Maryland and that I was unable to get there to have it looked at. Dr. Parsons took care of me (even though I was a walk in/had no appt). And after she was done, when I asked her what the charge was, she told me not to worry about it! Her generosity of time and service saved me time, money, and travel. I have been very pleased with the service my son has received from her (and her staff) as well!
— Kim Lott