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Is My Child Ready to Begin Their Orthodontic Journey?

August 1, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — kids-dentistry @ 7:47 pm
a closeup of a smiling child with braces

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, many parents wonder if there’s a magic age by which their child needs to start it. While most dental professionals agree that children should attend their first orthodontist appointment by their 7th or 8th birthday, every child’s oral situation is different, and braces aren’t always immediately needed. That said, some kids benefit from beginning their braces journey early on, and if luck is on their side, they might end up not even needing to undergo a full round of braces in the future! Continue reading below to learn more about phase 1 orthodontics and its many merits.

What Is Phase 1 Orthodontics?

Also sometimes referred to as early orthodontics or interceptive orthodontics, these treatments are intended to make future orthodontic treatment easier, faster, less complicated, or even unnecessary altogether for children. Designed to be initiated while the baby teeth are still present and some adult teeth have erupted, these solutions often include devices like early braces, palate expanders, space maintainers, and tongue cribs. Phase 1 orthodontics poses virtually no threat to the development of permanent teeth and treatment generally lasts anywhere from 6 months to 18 months.

What Are Some Reasons for Children Needing Phase 1 Orthodontics?

Some kids are born lucky and inherit teeth that need little or no straightening at all, making orthodontic treatment a relatively simple task. Conversely, other children end up needing quite a bit of orthodontic intervention, either immediately or later on. There are many reasons phase 1 orthodontics might be recommended for your youngster, including:

  • To address bite issues such as open bites, underbites, and crossbites
  • To create room for erupting permanent teeth
  • To protect the mouth from damage caused by protruding teeth
  • To correct improper dental development
  • To improve oral functionality
  • To enhance the appearance of the smile and boost the child’s confidence

Is My Child a Candidate for Phase 1 Orthodontics?

Sometimes, just one look at your child’s pearly whites is all it takes to know if they’re going to need braces in the future—but it’s not always this obvious, and only their orthodontist can accurately assess when and if treatment is necessary. Children with open bites, deep bites, cross bites, overbites, crowding, missing teeth, spacing issues, or teeth that have erupted in spontaneous places can all be candidates for phase 1 orthodontics. Childhood is a high-growth period for the teeth, gums, and other oral structures, making it the ideal time to set things on the right track.

Believe it or not, baby teeth hold a lot of influence when it comes to dental development, and even though straightening them might seem counterintuitive, it’s often ideal and results in numerous benefits for your child’s flourishing oral health.

About the Practice

Here at Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we’re excited to bring an unmatched level of dental care to families in the New Britain, CT community. Under the talented leadership of Dr. Meghan Alexander, we’re pleased to provide a wide range of pediatric services to assist children of all ages. If you have any questions about the blog or you believe your little one might benefit from phase 1 orthodontics, feel free to contact us today for further information or assistance. Telephone: (860) 224-2419.

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