Early Orthodontic TreatmentGainesville, VA
Children with serious orthodontic irregularities can benefit from early orthodontic treatment. It can intercept problems and reduce the need for more complex treatment in the future. Various forms of early orthodontic treatment are available, depending on each patient’s needs.
Not every child needs early orthodontic treatment, but it is extremely helpful for patients who do. Our team at Gainesville Orthodontics in Gainesville and the surrounding area can determine whether it is the right choice for your child. Call us today at 571-367-3390 to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.
Understanding Early Orthodontic Treatment
Timing is a crucial part of orthodontic treatment. Many patients begin orthodontic treatment between the ages of 10 to 14 when their permanent teeth have fully erupted. However, early or “interceptive” orthodontic treatment is also available to help children who have some or all of their primary teeth.
In some cases, young patients will benefit from early orthodontic treatment if they are struggling with an abnormal teeth alignment. The purpose of early orthodontic treatment is not to treat a child’s current issues but to prevent future orthodontic issues from occurring. The earlier we catch such irregularities, the better a child’s dental health will be in the future.
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When Early Orthodontic Treatment Is Necessary
The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that children have their first orthodontic appointment by the age of seven. By this age, a child will have enough permanent teeth for us to evaluate their developing teeth and jaws. Once a child has their first orthodontic evaluation, we can determine whether early orthodontic treatment is necessary.
Early intervention may be in a patient’s best interest if they have a problem that will worsen over time without treatment. We provide early orthodontic intervention to stop the developing issue, treat the cause, guide facial bone and jaw growth, and facilitate sufficient spacing for incoming permanent teeth. Some orthodontic issues that may benefit from early orthodontic treatment include:
- Class III underbite
- Diastema or spacing
- Open bite
- Overbite or deep bite
- Protrusion or overjet
Patients Who Do Not Need Early Orthodontic Treatment
Although early orthodontic treatment can help many, it is not necessary for every child. If a child does not have any concerning issues with their jaw or teeth alignment, they may be able to wait until phase II orthodontics. Our team can determine the best course of treatment for a child’s orthodontic needs.
We will take X-rays and perform a thorough examination of the patient’s mouth to see how their permanent teeth and jaw are developing. Even if a child does not need early orthodontic treatment, it is still important for us to monitor the growth and development of their teeth. This will allow us to begin their orthodontic treatment at the right time for optimal results.
Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
When necessary, there are many benefits to receiving early orthodontic treatment. This orthodontic intervention can prevent damaging factors that affect normal facial and dental structure growth and development. Without the proper treatment, functional orthodontic issues can become skeletal issues as the patient matures.
Early orthodontic intervention can also stop teeth from shifting and improve alignment in cases of premature tooth loss. Initiating early treatment also can minimize or eliminate the need for complex orthodontic treatment in the future. It may mean a shorter phase II orthodontic treatment length.
Early Orthodontic Treatment Options
There is a range of early orthodontic treatments for patients to choose from, depending on their needs. Options may include palatal expanders, headgear, retainers, partial braces, and rubber bands. Early orthodontic treatment options help guide teeth and jaw growth to prevent permanent teeth from growing improperly.
Palatal expanders are utilized when a child’s jaw is not wide enough for their permanent teeth to emerge. They gradually widen the upper jaw over time to create more space in the mouth, allowing more more effective orthodontic treatment. Headgear can help patients with severely misaligned jaws and teeth.
Call Us Today
Do not hesitate to find out whether your child can benefit from early orthodontic treatment. Our team at Gainesville Orthodontics can help. Call us today at 571-367-3390 to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What will happen if I wait until my child is older to begin phase I treatment?
If your child needs phase I treatment, we do not recommend waiting. Not taking action can limit and complicate a child’s treatment options in the future. It can result in extractions, surgery, and increased costs.
What is the difference between phase I and phase II orthodontic treatment?
Phase I treatment occurs before all the permanent teeth have erupted. It can make more space for incoming teeth, correct improper bites, and stop harmful habits like thumb sucking. Phase II treatment is comprehensive, involving full orthodontic appliances when all the permanent teeth have erupted.
How long does early orthodontic treatment last?
Early orthodontic treatment length may vary depending on the patient’s situation and the appliances used. Treatments can range from a single palatal expander to limited braces. The length of treatment can range from six to 18 months.
What are the symptoms or signs that my child has orthodontic problems?
It can be difficult for parents to determine whether orthodontic treatment is necessary. We recommend making an appointment with our team for a comprehensive examination and professional recommendations. Some signs include crooked teeth, gaps between teeth, overlapping teeth, protruding teeth, and misaligned jaws.
What happens after my child completes early orthodontic treatment?
After early orthodontic treatment, patients will typically receive a retainer. It helps keep their teeth in place while we wait for all their permanent teeth to erupt. After a child has all their permanent teeth, we will move on to phase II treatment.
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