Also called “Phase I orthodontics” or “children’s orthodontics,” early orthodontics addresses issues before a patient has all of their adult teeth.
When Should a Child First See an Orthodontist?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should be seen by an orthodontist around age 7. Seeing a child this young ensures any issues are caught and can be corrected while the child’s teeth and jaws are still developing.
Kids' orthodontics can help:
Expand a narrow top jaw
Create additional space for incoming adult teeth
Hold space for incoming adult teeth
Properly align jaws
Promote airway development for children with breathing issues and mouth breathers
Why Start Treatment So Young?
Although orthodontic issues can be corrected at any age, addressing them early on can make the process easier. For instance, expanding the jaw while it's still growing can be achieved with a palatal expander, which is much less invasive than surgery. Creating additional space for adult teeth before they arrive can also prevent the need for pulling teeth or surgical procedures, ultimately reducing the amount of shifting required to achieve proper spacing.
Another benefit of visiting an orthodontist at a young age is that it provides a comprehensive record of your child's oral development. An orthodontist who has been monitoring your child's progress for a few years will have a better understanding of the positioning of their teeth and can offer more insightful treatment recommendations than a practitioner seeing the patient for the first time as a teenager.
Lastly, starting orthodontic treatment early can help your child feel comfortable with Dr. Dabney and his team. This can ultimately lead to a smoother and more positive experience for both the child and the orthodontic team, making the process less daunting overall.
Early Orthodontics Can Be Easier on Your Budget
Correcting orthodontic issues earlier in life is not only less invasive but also more cost-effective.
Tracking the progression of your child's teeth also gives you an idea of the type of treatment they may need in the future, which allows you time to plan and budget for braces or Invisalign.
At Dabney Orthodontics, we provide free exams to our younger patients until treatment is necessary, and we will keep in touch with your child's dentist to make informed treatment decisions. If treatment is never required, there is no cost to you.
We are excited to partner with you in safeguarding and promoting your child's oral health.
Actual Dabney Orthodontics patient