The Importance of Early Treatment for Kids
Just in time for National Children’s Dental Health Month, learn how you can help your child enjoy a beautiful smile for life!
Since February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, we’d love to discuss one of the best ways to set up your child for success when it comes to the health of their teeth: our early treatment. During this critical time when children are learning and gaining confidence, early intervention is key for addressing any dental issues and possibly preventing the need for more complex orthodontic treatment in the long run.
Find out what early orthodontic treatment entails, who’s a good candidate for it, and more below.
What Is Early Treatment for Kids?
Early orthodontic treatment consists of tackling orthodontic issues from a young age. You’re probably already familiar with the latter stage of orthodontic treatment, which is the traditional adjustment of the adult teeth using clear aligners or braces. Early treatment happens in childhood, when there is a mix of baby and permanent teeth in the mouth, using various orthodontic techniques to correct potential issues early.
How Early Can Orthodontic Treatment Begin?
Every patient is different, but we recommend that you bring your child to a board-certified orthodontist by age seven for a personalized evaluation and to formulate a custom treatment plan. Treatment will typically begin as soon as you and the orthodontist agree your child is ready and may include a space maintainer, Invisalign, an expander, braces. The process usually takes 12 months or less.
What Problems Does Early Treatment Address?
Early treatment can help to resolve common orthodontic issues like overbites, underbites, open bites, crossbites, crowding, excessive wear, or protrusion. Treating these issues at a younger age can often keep them from growing more serious, making later orthodontic treatment easier. Sometimes, early treatment can even prevent the need for future orthodontic treatment or extraction altogether.
What Happens After Early Treatment?
After receiving early orthodontic treatment, your child may receive a retainer to keep their teeth in place. After that, we can monitor the growth of their teeth and determine if further treatment is necessary in their case. If it is, rest assured that we will guide you and your child every step of the way.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
While not every child requires our early orthodontic treatment, we recommend that all children come in for a consultation at the age of 7 so that we can take a look at their teeth. Children whose teeth are clearly misaligned or who have habits like thumb-sucking can often especially benefit from early treatment.
At Adirondack Orthodontics, we look forward to setting up your child for success. Call us today to schedule a consultation for your child.
Don’t forget that the Times Union’s Best Of voting begins soon! We will be sharing more details on how to vote for your team at Adirondack Orthodontics for Best Orthodontist as voting gets underway.
The Basics of Phase One Orthodontics
How Early Intervention Can Set Your Child Up for Dental Success
From ages one through seven, the formation of the teeth and jaw play an important role in how your child speaks and chews. Since these are essential skills, our team provides a treatment that will allow us to intervene early to identify any major orthodontic issues and stop them in their tracks: phase one orthodontic treatment.
What is phase one orthodontics?
Phase one orthodontics is the process by which children aged 6 or younger work with a board-certified orthodontist to address issues with their teeth and jaw before these problems worsen. This phase usually takes around 10 to 14 months and begins with a complimentary consultation.
What treatments are involved?
The treatments involved in phase one depend completely on the patient’s dental issues. During the first phase, we will address your child’s issues with treatments such as Invisalign, a space maintainer, tooth removal, braces, or an expander. During the treatment, we will be sure to look for tooth eruptions, missing teeth, and other issues.
What are the benefits of this treatment?
Phase one allows us to take a look at your child’s teeth and jaw, identify any issues, and prevent problems from worsening. Simply put, phase one can prevent the need for more complicated orthodontic solutions later on.
Who needs this treatment?
Children aged six or younger who are experiencing major developmental issues with their teeth, including an overbite, underbite, crowding, protrusion, and more. Children who suck their thumb till the age of five may be good candidates, since this can affect the formation of the roof of the mouth.
How do I get started?
Phase one orthodontics isn’t the right fit for everyone. The best way to find out if your child would benefit from this treatment is to call on the team at Adirondack Orthodontics to schedule an appointment. We can identify any alignment issues during a completely free, no-obligation consultation.
Set your child up for dental success by contacting the team at Adirondack Orthodontics today! We have locations throughout the Capital Region to serve you.
How Young Is Too Young For Orthodontic Treatment?
Misalignment in a child’s teeth may seem like a normal occurrence, but it is often a sign of things to come. Baby teeth that are misaligned, improperly spaced, or overly crowded create a path for permanent teeth to follow suit. Ensuring that you are setting your child up for a beautiful, healthy smile starts when they are young.
In the past, orthodontic treatment wouldn’t begin until all of the patient’s permanent teeth were properly in place. The belief was that orthodontic appliances would need to be adjusted too often to account for non-permanent teeth that would eventually fall out. Advances in orthodontic technology now encourage a two-phase treatment plan that emphasizes starting realignment at an earlier age, sometimes as young as six or seven years old.
If your child’s smile has significant crowding, misalignment, or demonstrates functional issues with their teeth, they may be a candidate for Phase One treatment. Children who have habits that may affect their dental development, such as sucking their thumb, are more likely to require orthodontic treatment.
The Benefits of Starting Orthodontic Treatment Early
Ignoring issues with your child’s smile can be costly, in terms of both time and money. It’s bad enough to go without a smile they are proud to show off but even worse, foregoing treatment often leads to additional, more serious problems down the road. Baby teeth carve the path through which permanent teeth erupt, so putting off treatment until permanent teeth come in all but assure they will have significant alignment issues that need to be treated.
Phase One treatment can mitigate many problems; in some scenarios, it can actually prevent invasive procedures, such as extractions. And while a Phase Two treatment plan, or what many consider traditional treatment, is often necessary, the complexity is typically reduced by ensuring your child’s teeth are set on a path to align properly at a young age.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
Giving your child a smile they’ll love is one of the best things you can do for them. Adirondack Orthodontics is proud to offer free consultations for children to see if they are a candidate for Phase One orthodontics. No referral is necessary, and our consultations are quick (about 20 minutes) and painless. Contact us today and we can let you know if an early orthodontic treatment plan is right for your child.
Adirondack Orthodontics is committed to providing a safe, effective, affordable, and pleasant experience for every patient. We look forward to meeting you and your child!