Early Treatment of Kids
Early orthodontic treatment is preventative and can help avoid future serious issues.
When to Visit
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children be evaluated by an Orthodontic Specialist by age 7. We know what you’re thinking - that’s sort of young and my child still has baby teeth?! You’re right, and the hope is that the majority of kids don’t need braces until around 11-14.
However, it is very important for children to see an Orthodontic Specialist around age 7 to make sure there isn’t any dangerous teeth situations or traumatic bite or jaw issues, like severe crowding, cross bites, or underbites. These could be harmful for a child to grow and develop with and make things difficult to correct at a later age. Sometimes tooth extractions or surgery could have been avoided if caught and addressed early while bones are still growing. With the hope of setting every child up for success down the road, it really is beneficial to have our PDGO orthodontists take a quick peek to make sure your little one is on a healthy and safe path.
MOST children do not need early intervention and are ready to join our PDGO Observation Program and have their growth and development monitored every 6-12 months, or when they visit PDGO for their routine dental cleaning.
You might consider bringing your child to us for early prevention if:
- They have trouble breaking a thumb-sucking habit
- A speech impediment exists
- Your child’s jaw comes together in an abnormal way when they bite
- Your child’s teeth do not come together, or do so in an irregular manner
- There is an issue with breathing
- Teeth protrude from the upper or lower jaw
- Your child has problems with chewing and biting
- Your child loses their baby teeth too early or too late
Early Orthodontics for Children
From your initial consult, we will explain if there would be any benefit to performing early treatment, or Phase I orthodontics. Phase I treatment is mainly aimed at improving major bite issues, severe crowding or spacing, or any social concerns that your child may have. Phase I treatment typically lasts around one year and the goal is to set your child up for an easier and more successful round of comprehensive treatment in the future.
Phase I treatment typically consists of limited braces or appliances, like an expander. After Phase I treatment is complete, your child will enter into our PDGO Observation Program so we can monitor continued growth and development until all permanent teeth are erupted and ready for complete correction in Phase II treatment.
Super Smile Club, PDGO's Observation Program allows us to spot problems early, which often means that your child can avoid more complicated and lengthy treatment later.
Why keep a close eye on your youngster?
- Monitoring Baby and Adult Teeth: Our doctors will keep track of lost baby teeth and erupting adult teeth at each observation visit. If baby teeth aren’t falling out when they should or if permanent teeth are erupting in the wrong way, we will recommend the best way to address any problems to keep your child’s bite as healthy as possible.
- Planning Future Treatment: During pre-orthodontic observation, we will consult with you regarding your child’s future treatment. You can work together with our orthodontists to plan the optimal time to begin treatment.
- Ideal Timing: By starting with pre-orthodontic observation early, you gain much more control over how and when your child gets braces. This ensures that the braces aren’t worn for longer than necessary.
- Oral Health: Routine evaluation of the jaws and tissue is helpful in determining the presence of any harmful pathology.
Teens and Adults
By straightening your teeth with one of our esthetic treatment options, you can gain a more attractive
smile and a life-altering confidence.
Let PDGO Improve Your Smile
Orthodontics is not just for little kids
Although orthodontic problems are best treated during childhood, it’s never too late to get the smile you’ve always wanted! Many adolescents and young adults choose to receive orthodontic treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance. A great smile improves your overall confidence and studies have found it can boost success in school and the workforce!