Interceptive treatment for children (Phase 1 Treatment)
It is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) that children see their orthodontist by the age of 7. At this point the orthodontist will determine if the child’s jaw or jaws are growing asymmetrically or if there is excessive crowding of the existing permanent and/or primary teeth. If that is so, then the child is a candidate for interceptive treatment (Phase 1 Treatment). Early orthodontic intervention will:
- Help avoid fracture or loss of protruding front teeth.
- Help prevent the need to extract permanent teeth later on
- Prevent the use of more aggressive treatment or even surgery to realign the jaws.
- Improve self-image.
Comprehensive treatment for children (Phase 2 Treatment)
If interceptive treatment is not required, then the child will be evaluated about every 6 months by the orthodontist who will monitor (by looking in the mouth and at the necessary x-rays) the eruption of the permanent teeth and the growth of the jaws.
As there is no exact age when comprehensive treatment begins, most children will get their braces on when they still have between 1-3 primary teeth in their mouth. Average treatment time is 24-27 months. At the end of treatment, all patients will get retainers which they will wear to ensure the retention of their beautiful smile.