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Early Orthodontic

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends kids have their first orthodontic evaluation by age 7.

Orthodontics San Diego

Why age 7?

By age 7, most kids have their first permanent molars, establishing the back of the bite and allowing an orthodontist to see how their smile is shaping up. While the majority of little ones won’t need treatment this young, the early detection and correction of certain orthodontic issues helps kids avoid lengthy treatment, extractions or corrective jaw surgery down the road. For expert recommendations, schedule a complimentary exam for your child today!

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.

Early Orthodontic Treatment

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.

Early Orthodontic Treatment

7&Up Treatment

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
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