Santa Clarita, CA – When you picture someone in braces, you more than likely picture a teenager trying to navigate their high school years behind a mouth full of metal. And while teens still reap the benefits of orthodontic treatment, early interceptive orthodontic treatment can often mean less, or even no, time spent in braces during the high school years.
It is recommended that children visit an orthodontist for the first time around their seventh birthday. While many people think this may seem early, it is the ideal time, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. While visiting an orthodontist at this time doesn’t mean your child will require treatment right away, early treatment can provide many benefits.
Early treatment can:
- Allow room for permanent teeth to erupt properly, thereby reducing any risk associated with impacted teeth.
- Guide the growth of the jaw to ensure facial symmetry and ensure there is more than enough space for all the permanent teeth to erupt and be aligned properly.
- Lower the need for extractions or jaw surgery in the future.
Treatment at this early age is often referred to as Phase 1 treatment and will often be followed by Phase 2 treatment once most if not all the adult teeth have come in. By beginning with phase 1 treatment, the second phase of treatment is often quicker and more efficient.
The reason why it is so efficient is because phase one treatment allows your orthodontist to create the most ideal environment for your child’s remaining permanent teeth to erupt. Your orthodontist will guide the growth of the jaw to give adequate space, making the tooth straightening phase of treatment much easier.
Treatment will begin by guiding the growth of the jaw, and once all the permanent teeth have erupted, it will be followed by the tooth straightening portion of treatment. For patients who gain their permanent teeth early, this can mean braces may happen in the middle school years, rather than the high school years. But even for patients who have braces in high school, if they’ve already undergone the first phase of treatment, they will often find their phase two treatment goes by much quicker than friends who waited.
Early treatment, when indicated, can greatly help your child, and can lessen the amount of time he or she may be in treatment in the already self-conscious teen years. To learn more about two phase orthodontic treatment, or if your child is near the age of seven and has not yet seen an orthodontist, schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Reza Salmassian is a Board-Certified Orthodontist. For any questions regarding this article or to schedule your complimentary orthodontic evaluation, please contact Dr. Salmassian’s office at 661-222-7444 or visit us at www.salmassianortho.com.