At our practice, Dr. Carl Roy recommends treatment on a case-by-case basis. Most orthodontic patients begin treatment around the age of 11 or 12. However, in some cases, two-phase treatment – sometimes referred to as early orthodontics – can help correct issues before they progress. Therefore, while not every young patient will require early orthodontics, it is incredibly advantageous for those who can benefit from it. Here, we will explore a variety of procedures available in children’s orthodontics, and discuss the appropriate age to begin treatment.
At What Age Should I Bring My Child to the Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends scheduling your child’s first orthodontic visit around the age of seven. Because several permanent teeth will have erupted by this age. Therefore, Dr. Roy can obtain a clear picture of your child’s bite, and determine if any treatment will be necessary.
At age seven, your child is still in the developmental stages. As a result, any skeletal abnormalities can be identified and addressed while the oral and maxillofacial bones are still growing. However if no treatment is required at this young age, Dr. Roy will simply continue to monitor your child’s bite as he or she grows. Then, he can begin treatment when it is the most beneficial.
Why is Children’s Orthodontics Sometimes Advantageous?
If there are significant problems identified at age seven, early orthodontics can make overall treatment much more predictable. For example, early intervention can guide growth and development. However if you wait until the bones are fully formed, treatment may be much more extensive. Early orthodontics can:
If Dr. Roy recommends two-phase treatment, there are a variety of procedures that can be recommended, based on your child’s specific needs. Some of the most common procedures and appliances used in the first phase of orthodontic treatment include the following.
Once your child has successfully completed the first phase of orthodontic treatment, he or she will typically wait until the age of 11 or 12 to move on the second phase. Dr. Roy will monitor your child’s development and growth, and will recommend the next phase at the appropriate time. Generally, the second phase of treatment involves traditional metal braces. On average, phase two lasts between 18 to 24 months.
What if My Child Does Not Require Two-Phase Treatment?
If Dr. Roy does not recommend two-phase treatment for your child, he will simply monitor your child’s growth until orthodontic treatment is appropriate. In most cases, he will recommend full traditional metal braces around the age of 11 or 12. If your child only has mild misalignment, he or she may benefit from Invisalign®. Dr. Roy will base his suggestions on the long-term health and function of your child’s smile.
My sincere thanks to Dr. Roy and his team for showing me the way! My baby teeth had to be crowned for years since 2 of my adult teeth never came in. This was just one piece of the puzzle that needed figuring out. I’m proud of my smile and it shows every time I meet someone!- Liz