When it comes to orthodontics for children, there is no “one size fits all” solution. While some children will require orthodontic treatment in phases, spanning years and starting early in life, others will be able to skip early treatments and go right into getting braces at an older age. Whether your child will need treatments in phases or not, it’s important to understand all of your options before committing to one orthodontic treatment.
Phase I Orthodontic Treatment
Also known as “Early Treatment,” Phase I Orthodontics begin when the patient is between the ages of 7 to 10. Early treatment is highly effective for children who will need some form of braces to correct bite problems due to skeletal imbalance issues, overcrowding, or misaligned teeth when there is a mix of baby and adult teeth.
Ideally, Phase I Orthodontics is designed to create a better environment for the introduction of adult teeth, and to correct jaw problems when the growth and size of the jaws are still malleable. While not every child needing braces needs this preliminary orthodontic treatment, those that have undergone Phase I Orthodontics have greatly benefited from this form of early intervention. This phase of treatment takes about 6 to 12 months and could include one or more types of treatment using orthodontia including:
Phase II Orthodontic Treatment
The majority of patients that undergo Phase I Orthodontic care will require a second round of treatment once adult teeth come in. Sometimes, this secondary treatment is less involved than what it would have been if the Phase I treatment was not implemented. This second phase of treatment will take about 12 to 24 months.
Traditional braces are implemented after all of the patient’s permanent teeth have come in. On average, patients receiving conventional braces are around 11 to 13 years of age, having not undergone Phase I and II orthodontic treatments. On average, children who go right into conventional braces may need teeth extracted or surgery to expand the palate in order to create a healthy bite.
Orthodontics in Bakersfield
With so many different treatments available, it is important to visit your orthodontist early. At Southwest Family Dentistry, we recommend bringing your child in for their first orthodontic appointment by age seven. At this stage, their permanent teeth are starting to come in and problem areas can be pinpointed quickly.
Don’t wait until your child starts experiencing discomfort or low self-esteem because of their smile. Schedule a consultation at Southwest Family Dentistry to see if phase orthodontic treatment or conventional braces would benefit your child. Contact us today!