Early Orthodontics

At what age should a child first visit the orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that most children should have an orthodontic screening by age 7. This allows Dr. Harold Enoch and Dr. Amir Lamei to determine if orthodontic treatment will be required and the best time for the patient to be treated. Many of the dentists in our community have been trained to identify orthodontic problems early, and may refer you to our office earlier than age 7.

Braces can improve function of the bite and teeth, improve ability to clean the teeth, prevent wear on the teeth, and increase the longevity of natural teeth over a lifetime.

Why are children being evaluated at such an early age?

Early diagnosis and treatment can guide erupting teeth into a more favorable position, preserve space for permanent teeth, and reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruded front teeth.

If early treatment is indicated, Dr. Enoch and Dr. Lamei can guide the growth of the jaw and incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment, after all the permanent teeth erupt.

Two Phase Orthodontic Treatment

Two-phase orthodontic treatment consists of two treatment stages separated by a resting period. We recommend that you do not delay either of these stages, as this can lead to more invasive and potentially less effective treatments in the future.

Phase One

Phase One treatment is intended to help the jaw develop properly in order to accommodate all of the permanent teeth and ensure that the upper and lower jaws fit together correctly. Careful attention to the growth and development of the jaws during this phase of treatment can prevent many future problems. During an initial evaluation, our orthodontists will determine if early treatment is needed, and if so, when it should begin. If necessary, we will provide treatments that will help your child’s teeth and jaw develop properly so that they can avoid the need for tooth extractions or other invasive procedures.

Resting Period

During the resting period between treatment phases, the teeth will be left to develop on their own. A successful first phase creates space for permanent teeth to erupt without difficulty. Our orthodontists will monitor your child’s teeth during this time to ensure that everything develops correctly.

Phase Two

When your child begins Phase Two treatment, our orthodontists will evaluate their teeth and jaws, and provide any treatments necessary to ensure that the teeth are in harmony with each other, as well as the lips, cheeks and tongue. Phase Two is typically when the patient will wear full braces or receive other orthodontic treatment. Retainers will be used following treatment to keep your child’s teeth in their proper positions.

Start Smiling Today

Schedule your appointment today for a complimentary exam to determine if two-phase treatment is right for your child.