The American Association of Orthodontists recommends kids have their first orthodontic evaluation by age 7.
An Orthodontist is Your Best Resource
It’s really hard to tell if your child needs orthodontic treatment just by looking at them. A problem can exist even though the front teeth appear straight. Alternatively, it can seem like a child has a complex issue, but it’s actually something that will resolve on its own. While your dentist is a good reference, an orthodontist like Dr. Durschlag is your best resource. He has the training and expertise to determine an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Keeping an Eye on Development
When a child doesn’t need early orthodontic treatment, they’ll simply enter our growth and development observation program, the Smile Pros Kids’ Club. They’ll come in for occasional checkups so Dr. Durschlag can determine the ideal time for them to get braces or Invisalign® Teen.
If early orthodontic treatment, also called Phase I orthodontic treatment, is needed, the team at San Diego Smile Pros will make the process convenient and fun. During Phase I, Dr. Durschlag will use an orthodontic appliance to take advantage of early growth spurts and guide the development of the jaws, reducing or eliminating a moderate or severe orthodontic problem.
Most kids who have phase I treatment will also require Phase II treatment to finetune the bite. Phase II usually starts several years later when all, or most, of the permanent teeth have erupted, around age 12 or 13. The goal of Phase II is to achieve strong, stable occlusion and perfectly aligned teeth.
The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
When Phase I orthodontic treatment is needed, it can:
- Make room for the permanent teeth to erupt as straight as possible
- Alleviate crowding
- Intercept or correct bite issues, such as a crossbite
- Create facial symmetry
- Break oral habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrust
- Alleviate chewing difficulties and minor speech problems