Friendly New Baltimore & East China Area Kid's Orthodontist
At Brieden Orthodontics, our mission is to help each one of our patients achieve a healthy, beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime. We combine cutting-edge orthodontic technology with the expertise of our American Association of Orthodontists specialist, Dr. Christopher Brieden, to design comprehensive orthodontic treatments that help our patients achieve a dream smile – but sometimes, the best way to achieve a lifetime of healthy smiles is to start early. That's where early orthodontic treatment comes in.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends your child be seen for an initial orthodontic consultation at the age of 7. At this age, the molars and jaw are developing, which lets us evaluate any current orthodontic problems as well as problems that may develop in the future.
IMPORTANCE OF EARLY ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT
For most patients, the best time to start orthodontic treatment is anywhere between the ages of 9 and 14, which is when most of the baby teeth have fallen out and most or all of the adult teeth are fully grown in. There are some orthodontic conditions where the best way to achieve a beautiful smile is to start earlier:
- Crossbite: With a crossbite, the lower teeth close outside of the upper teeth, which can cause problems in bite function and serious jaw problems later in life. By starting treatment early, we can use a specialized orthodontic device called a palatal expander to slowly, and painlessly widen the upper jaw, correcting the crossbite and preventing more extensive treatments down the line.
- Crowding: While we can often treat mild crowding through adolescent treatment alone, in more severe cases, early treatment is often the best option. Once again, we can use a palatal expander to widen the jaw and create more room for teeth in the dental arch, helping to promote a straight, healthy alignment and lessening the time needed in braces.
- Front Teeth Protrusion: If a child's upper or lower front teeth protrude from an overbite or severe underbite, those teeth are at an increased risk of being chipped or damaged from a fall or other trauma. What's more, these problems can impair healthy jaw development. We can use braces to treat these issues quickly and easily, using the natural growth of teeth an jaws help prevent more extensive treatment down the road.
PHASE I & II TREATMENT
If you decide to begin early orthodontic treatment for your child, the path to a healthy and beautiful smile can be accomplished in two phases. This treatment plan is designed to provide high-quality orthodontic care in the most effective and efficient way possible. Since a child's development can occur at different times, it is recommended that you consult with Dr. Brieden to see when would be the appropriate age to begin orthodontic treatment.
The goal of Phase I treatment is to ensure that your child's jaw has enough room for when the permanent teeth erupt. Slight adjustments may be made such as widening the upper jaw around the age of 8 since the jawbone has not fully developed. During Phase II, we will use traditional metal braces or clear aligners to properly straighten teeth into the correct position. This will align your child's teeth and jaw to create a healthy and beautiful smile.
Call Your New Baltimore & East China Area Children's Orthodontist
Early Treatment is an excellent option for helping many children achieve a beautiful, healthy smile, and if your child is approaching age 7, we'd love to meet them for their consultation. You can request an appointment online now or if you still have questions on the treatment process, don't hesitate to contact us at our two convenient office locations in New Baltimore and East China. We can't wait to hear from you, and we're excited to help your child achieve a gorgeous smile that lasts a lifetime!