In growing kids we’re able to modify their growth so we can minimize the length of time they need braces. We correct the jaw problems when they’re young and straighten their teeth when they all come in in a second phase.
Phase One: Setting the Foundation
The goal of phase one is to correct jaw issues. In phase one, the orthodontist improves the alignment of the jaws and create space for adult teeth to come in. Treatment generally lasts about 9 months. Candidates for early orthodontic treatment include:
- Children over the age of six with an upper jaw that is too large or too narrow.
- Children over the age of eight with crowded teeth
Treating the above conditions early on will prevent the need to remove permanent teeth later in life to relieve crowding and/or surgery to realign jaws.
At your child’s first appointment, we will create baseline orthodontic records including x-rays, models of the teeth, and photographs. These records are necessary to determine:
- If early orthodontic intervention is necessary
- Which types of appliances should be used
- The duration of treatment time
- How often you will need to visit
During the supervision period we let nature take its course, allowing the remaining teeth come in naturally. There are some instances when we may choose to remove baby teeth in order to allow the permanent tooth to erupt without the interference of a stubborn baby tooth. During this time, we simply monitor the progress of the teeth at six-month intervals and correct any problems that may develop until phase two.
Phase Two: Braces
Once the jaw problems have been corrected it’s fast and efficient to move the teeth into their correct position. Generally this only takes 12-15 months. At the end of treatment, each tooth is in place and there is harmony between the cheeks, tongue, lips, and jaw, as well. After the braces are removed, retainers are worn to solidify the new smile and ensure its longevity. Phase two usually lasts an average of 15 months when following phase one treatment.
Customized Treatment Plans
If you think orthodontics is out of reach, think again. We welcome patients of all ages who want straight teeth and a healthy smile.