The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that an Orthodontic evaluation take place by the age of 7 for all children. Many dental and facial growth problems can be helped and sometimes prevented through early orthodontic examination and treatment. This could include various forms of tooth guidance for better eruption of teeth and interceptive help for harmful habits of the tongue, lips and cheeks. An early exam will allow a diagnosis to determine if treatment is indicated and the time when it in which it should be completed.
Early treatment, called Phase I, may be indicated for crowded teeth or jaw skeletal imbalance causing excess overbite, under-bite or cross-bite. Significant changes can be made, in some cases, to avoid extractions of permanent teeth for crowding. In other cases jaw surgery to correct the bite and facial profile can be avoided. Early treatment, Phase I, is usually done at 7, 8 or 9 years of age when there are baby teeth and permanent teeth present. This is almost always followed up with additional treatment called Phase II when the permanent teeth are erupted at an average age 12 years. Two-phase treatment is recommended to correct facial structure imbalances, create a stable occlusion (bite), and a fantastic smile!
Our practice encompasses many possible orthodontic procedures. These range from expansion of the jaw, comprehensive upper and lower tooth movement, as well as jaw surgery and alignment to correct the bite and facial structures. Well-aligned teeth are healthier as they are easier to clean and contribute to less tooth decay and gum disease. A correct bite helps prevent excess wear and breakage of teeth. Orthodontics can also help or eliminate some “TMJ” problems.