EARLY TREATMENT

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When should orthodontic treatment begin?

There is no one specific time when orthodontic treatment should start; the ideal moment varies from patient to patient. However, everyone should see an orthodontist on or near their seventh birthday. Why is that? Allow us to explain.

When children reach age seven, they usually have enough adult teeth that any orthodontic problems will be clear to the doctor examining them. In most cases, there will be nothing of note. In others, there will be issues present but they will be fine to treat once the child is entering puberty. Finally, in a minority of patients, there will be significant issues present that are best treated in two phases.

Why two phases? This is done to avoid tooth extractions, surgery, and headgear later in life. Instead, just braces can be used by harnessing the jawbone growth in the child. The first set will be worn around age eight or nine for about a year, and the second set as a teen for a year or two. Treatment in this manner is more comfortable and more affordable than waiting and taking more drastic measures.

Ultimately, most children will not require treatment, but for those who can benefit from it, early treatment is lifechanging. To find out if your child would benefit from early treatment, schedule a consultation.

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