Are you a parent who is under the impression that you won’t have to worry about taking your child to see an orthodontist until their teen years?
You should know that the American Association of Orthodontists actually suggests scheduling an orthodontist appointment for some children when they’re as young as just 7. Not all children will need to see an orthodontist when they’re this young. But those children with obvious orthodontic issues at this point should try to get in to see an orthodontist ASAP.
At this age, your child may benefit from what is called phase one orthodontics. It will be part of a two-phase orthodontic treatment. It’s a form of early orthodontic care, and it may work wonders for the future of your child’s teeth.
Continue reading to find out what phase one orthodontics is, how it works, and what the benefits of it may be.
WHAT IS PHASE ONE ORTHODONTICS?
Most children don’t start to lose their baby teeth until they turn 6. As a result, many parents don’t even consider the possibility of taking their kids to see an orthodontist at just 7.
But as children begin to lose baby teeth and have permanent teeth grow in, many dentists can start to see potential orthodontic issues on the horizon. If they notice them, they might recommend that parents bring their children to orthodontists for phase one orthodontics.
Phase One orthodontics will help prepare a child’s teeth for future orthodontic treatments. A good orthodontist will be able to make subtle adjustments to their teeth to correct small problems that could turn into big ones later if they aren’t dealt with at a young age.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR PHASE ONE ORTHODONTICS?
Not every child who will eventually need to get braces will have to go through phase one orthodontics. There are, however, some children who might be able to benefit from this orthodontic treatment in a big way.
If, for example, a child has an obvious overcrowding of teeth going on in their mouth, they will likely be a good candidate for phase one orthodontics. They may also be a good candidate if they have any of these problems going on:
- Severe overbite or underbite
- Flared upper teeth
- Teeth spacing issues
Many of these types of problems will only get worse as a child gets older. It can make getting orthodontic care later on more complicated than it should be. Phase one orthodontics can correct certain issues that’ll make it easier for a child to get the best possible results when they get braces in the future.
HOW DOES PHASE ONE ORTHODONTICS WORK?
Every child who can benefit from phase one orthodontics is going to be treated a little differently. The treatment plan that an orthodontist comes up with for a child will be based largely on the condition of their teeth.
If a child has overcrowding going on, an orthodontist might utilize a palatal expander to slowly expand their palate. It’ll provide a child with more space for their permanent teeth to come in.
If a child has a severe overbite or underbite, an orthodontist might work on getting bite correction done while they’re still on the younger side. It’ll help a child’s teeth to line up better and make an overbite or underbite less of a concern when it’s time for them to get braces.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PHASE ONE ORTHODONTICS?
If your dentist tells you to consider bringing your child to an orthodontist when they’re only 7 or 8 years old, you might wonder whether or not they’re going to get much out of it. You’ll be happy to hear that there are so many benefits of phase one orthodontics for children.
First and foremost, phase one orthodontics will allow you and your child to get some sense of which orthodontic issues they might face in the not-too-distant future. It’ll help you prepare for what’s to come when your child reaches their teen years.
But this is far from the only benefit that you’ll get access to when you decide to take advantage of phase one orthodontics for your child. Here are some of the other benefits you’ll enjoy:
- May help your child avoid teeth extractions
- May allow your child to chew better and talk clearer
- May make it easier for your child to brush and floss their teeth
- May correct your child’s potentially serious overbite/underbite issues
- May give your child’s permanent teeth more room to come in
There might also be some bad habits that your child is hanging onto, like thumb sucking, that an orthodontist can help with. They’ll be able to put practices in place that’ll help your child eliminate these bad habits that could eventually take a detrimental toll on their teeth.
WHO CAN PROVIDE PHASE ONE ORTHODONTICS?
Now that you know what phase one orthodontics is and understand the benefits of this type of early orthodontic treatment, would you like to schedule a consultation for your child? You should make sure you bring them to an orthodontist you trust.
Parrott Orthodontics can provide you with early orthodontic care for your child. We can also stick with them through the entire two-phase orthodontic treatment, which may also include them getting braces and/or using a retainer later on.
You can rely on us to get your child’s teeth in excellent shape so that they look great as they reach their teenage years.
CONTACT US TO BENEFIT FROM EARLY ORTHODONTIC CARE
Has your child’s dentist let you know they might be able to benefit from phase one orthodontics in a big way? Parrott Orthodontics is here to help.
We invite you to make an appointment at our Staunton, VA office so that we can examine your child’s teeth and come up with a plan of action. Touch base with us today to get started.