What You Need to Know When Looking for a Children’s Orthodontist
At Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics, we believe that every child should receive an orthodontic evaluation by age seven — unless an orthodontic problem appears before then. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends the same. And so it’s imperative that you find a quality children’s orthodontist in your area to check your kids’ teeth.
Why do we suggest this? Orthodontic treatment for kids during their growth stages allows us to achieve results that may not be possible once face and jaw bones have fully developed. And this early evaluation helps us to determine the best time to begin any necessary treatment and permits our orthodontic team to watch growth patterns as your child develops, allowing early detection and timely treatment.
Orthodontist vs Dentist. Which do you need?
As orthodontic techniques become more advanced, multi-phase treatment plans have become more popular. These plans are broken up into “Phase 1” and “Phase 2” and are tailored to each individual patient.
Phase One: The Types of Orthodontic Treatment for Kids
The ideal candidates for Phase 1 of orthodontic treatment are young patients whose permanent teeth have not all come in yet, or whose jaws are still growing. During this growth period, orthodontic treatment can be more effective, and less invasive.
The goals of “Phase 1” treatment are to:
- Gain proper width of the upper and lower jaws.
- Create room for crowded teeth to come in.
- Align the jaws to allow proper growth.
- Reduce the risk of trauma to protruding teeth.
- Hold space for permanent teeth that need to come in.
- Reduce the need for tooth removal.
- Reduce treatment time with braces.
- Minimize the need for surgical treatment with certain growth patterns.
To begin Phase 1 treatment, our team will make orthodontic records in order to determine your unique treatment plan. These records include digital models of your teeth, X-rays, and photographs. This information helps us determine the type of orthodontic appliance needed, the duration of treatment time needed, and the frequency of visits to the orthodontist.
Phase 2 and the Potential of Braces for Your Kids
A successful Phase 1 treatment creates room for permanent teeth to find their path way in, so they are not impacted or severely displaced during the process.
Between Phase 1 and Phase 2 of orthodontic treatment, your permanent teeth will be left alone as they continue to grow and erupt. We allow these teeth freedom of movement until fully developed. During this time, we recommend staying in close contact with your children’s orthodontist and scheduling progress calls on a six-month basis.
Once your child’s permanent teeth are ready, we then determine the right orthodontic treatment needed in Phase 2 to move teeth into their optimal positions after Phase 1, such as retainers, braces, or Invisalign, in order to straighten your teeth and achieve the best possible smile.
Setting Up Your First Appointment at Children’s Orthodontist
If you have questions about Phase 1 of orthodontic treatment, or think it may be time to bring your child in for their first appointment, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can schedule an appointment or reach out anytime. We’re happy to help!