Pediatric Dental Group & Orthodontics is announcing the launch of our Super Smile Club. This is a brand new pre-orthodontic observation program for 7 through 12 year olds. This club allows your child to become a part of the orthodontic family while PDGO watches their dental development and determines if early orthodontic treatment is needed. It is important that children are seen at an early age by an orthodontist.
The American Academy of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends an orthodontic screening no later than age 7. You may wonder why this is. By this age, your child will have a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth. This exam would determine if your child has an existing orthodontic problem or if one is about to begin.
First Orthodontic Visit for 7-12 Year Olds
Parents, if your child is 7 to 12 years old, ask their pediatric dentist at their next cleaning if they need to schedule a complimentary visit with an orthodontist. At PDGO, you can make that appointment before you leave the office! Of course, if your child is younger than 7 years old and you notice that something isn’t right with their smile or with their bite, please don’t hesitate to ask your pediatric dentist about that at your child’s upcoming appointment.
Pediatric Dental Group & Orthodontics makes it so easy for parents to take care of all of their child’s dental needs in one place. Our Super Smile Club program is set up to give your child’s smile the attention it deserves. After all, their smile will be with them for a lifetime! Following your first visit, Dr. Collazo will determine how often he wants to see your child in order to really observe their dental and facial development. These visits are all complimentary while a part of the Super Smile Club. Once Dr. Collazo determines your child is ready for treatment, our dedicated Treatment Coordinator will speak with you concerning cost and payment options, and we will move your child seamlessly into Phase I or Phase II of orthodontics, depending on their specific need. While a part of the Super Smile Club Observation program, our team will treat your child like a part of PDGO’s Ortho Family! That means everything from a free t-shirt, to fun prizes, to the most enjoyable and fun dental visits you can imagine.
Phase I Orthodontic Treatment can look different for different children. Dr. Collazo will make a specific treatment plan for each of his patients. Some examples of dental challenges that our team helps to fix are traumatic bite or jaw issues like severe crowding, cross bites, or underbites. Not all problems require early braces. Sometimes it simply requires removal of a baby tooth so that the permanent tooth can come in. Sometimes appliances are needed to help a child stop sucking on their thumb or finger, and some children need an appliance to keep the tongue in the right place when swallowing. When a child’s jaw is too narrow, an expander is necessary to help widen the jaw to make room for all of their permanent teeth to come in.
Is Early Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?
Don’t worry - most 7 year olds don’t require braces. The majority of kids do not need early orthodontic treatment. However, if a problem does exist, early intervention may be needed - making it all the more important for children to be seen early for pre-orthodontic observation. If such a problem is not discovered in time, it could be more difficult to be treated later in life. At PDGO, Dr. Collazo and our orthodontic team are prepared to work with you to give your child the precise treatment they need. In some of these instances braces are required for young children in Phase I of orthodontic treatment. Braces may be placed on their baby teeth to move them to the right place. Baby teeth are essentially placeholders for their permanent successor; therefore, these braces would ensure their mouth is healthy and ready for their permanent teeth to come in.
What is the Best Age for Early Orthodontic Treatment?
Although it is more common for children to get braces after they have lost their baby teeth, Phase I Orthodontics is sometimes necessary for children between the ages of 7 to 12. This means that these early orthodontic visits are so important to ensure that your child gets their braces at just the right time for them, whether it's 7, 8, 9, or even 14 years old. It’s not so much dependent upon the age of your child, but the development of their teeth and jaw that tells us when they need braces.
Phase I braces and appliances are aimed to improve major bite issues, severe crowding or spacing, or any social concerns that your child may have. Phase I treatment usually lasts around one year, and the goal is to set your child up for an easier and more successful round of orthodontic treatment in the future. After Phase I treatment is over for your child, they will enter (or re-enter) into the Super Smile Club observation program so we can monitor their growth and development. Once all of their permanent teeth have erupted, they will be ready to complete Phase II treatment.
If you have a child in this 7 to 12 age range, make sure to speak with their dentist at their next cleaning appointment to see if it is time for them to be a part of the Super Smile Club!