La Habra/Chino Hills, CA – It may seem like you are seeing more younger children in orthodontic treatment than ever before. That’s because more people are starting to understand the benefits that come with early orthodontics. While many people assume orthodontic treatment is for teens, it’s actually recommended that children visit an orthodontist for the first time around their seventh birthday. Dr. Robert Gire of Gire Orthodontics explains why early, or phase one orthodontic treatment, can be beneficial.
The Benefits of Early Treatment for Your Child
When you picture someone in braces, you probably most commonly picture a teenager, right? That picture is shifting somewhat, thanks to a better understanding of how interceptive orthodontic treatment can benefit younger patients. While early treatment isn’t necessary for all patients, or even a majority of patients, it can have a major impact for those that need it.
Early treatment can provide a host of benefits for your child, including:
- Taking advantage of growth and correction of the bite more easily
- Closing gaps or spaces
- Helping your child quit bad oral habits, such as thumb sucking
- Help in correcting mouth breathing
- Help in preventing the need for extractions of permanent teeth
- Ensuring space for eruption of permanent teeth
- Improving oral health
- Improving the ability to speak, bite, and chew properly
- Improving the efficiency of future treatment
“Many people view beginning treatment at age seven as being aggressive, but it’s actually more conservative as we may be able to avoid extractions, extended treatment later, and possibly avoid surgery and other problems,” says Dr. Gire. “My goal for every patient is to provide the best care possible, and sometimes that means we have to begin treatment at a young age so that we can help guide the growth of the jaw to alleviate crowding, close open bites, or correct other issues that can best be fixed before the jaw stops growing.”
The sooner certain orthodontic issues can be addressed, the more efficiently and effectively they can be corrected with greater long-term stability. Making changes to alignment becomes more complex after children have reached skeletal maturity. However, a consultation with a board-certified orthodontist can help determine if your child has issues that orthodontic treatment can help, and if so, when the ideal time to begin treatment is.
What Is Phase One Orthodontic Treatment and How Long Does Phase One Treatment Last?
Phase 1 treatment begins while your child still has some baby teeth and treats growth of the bite and the jaw. It can use appliances such as palatal expanders, space maintainers, and braces to help accomplish the goal of providing proper space for permanent teeth and aligning the bite. This phase typically takes 12-18 months, and is followed by a resting period before beginning the second phase.
If you believe your child may benefit from early orthodontic treatment, the best way to know for sure is through a consultation with a board-certified orthodontist. Dr. Gire treats patients of all ages and can address your concerns and answer all of your questions. Call Gire Orthodontics today at 562-690-1199 (La Habra) or 909-393-9911 (Chino Hills), to schedule your complimentary consultation.