It seems like kids are getting braces earlier than ever these days, right? If you had braces as a teen, you probably didn’t start the process until you were around 14 or 15 — but now, you may have noticed that kids as young as 7 are wearing some kind of orthodontic appliance. What’s that about? It’s actually something we call two-phase orthodontics, and they may help your little one’s bite form properly, too. Your orthodontist in Richardson shares the best time to get started on your child’s braces below.
Kids Should Visit the Orthodontist Around Age 7
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids have their first orthodontic consultation around the age of 7. Seems early? Well, it’s at this age that some of their permanent teeth have started to come in — especially the important first four permanent molars and first four central incisors — and before their jaw is fully formed.
Early intervention when the jaw is still malleable can reduce future treatment times with braces or, in some cases, eliminate the need for braces altogether. We call this treatment method two-phase orthodontics. The first phase is when their first permanent teeth have erupted, and the second is after the final primary tooth has been lost.
Benefits of Two-Phase Orthodontics
Not every child will need two-phase orthodontics. The initial consultation at age 7 is necessary to determine whether or not early intervention would be beneficial for your child. If it is, though, you and your little one will enjoy from the number of benefits offered by two-phase orthodontics.
- We can actually guide your child’s jaw as it develops with first phase orthodontics.
- Treating orthodontic issues early can prevent the need for surgical intervention of serious misalignments later on.
- Extractions are a common remedy for tooth crowding in older children. With two-phase orthodontics, we can make room for extra teeth as the jaw grows, eliminating the need for removal later on.
- We can reduce future treatment times with braces for your child, helping them avoid the common social stress of wearing visible orthodontia for long periods of time.
Preparing Your Child for the Orthodontist
The first visit to the orthodontist shouldn’t be anything to fear, but your little one may still be a bit nervous if they don’t know what to expect. During the appointment, you and your child’s orthodontist will have an in-depth conversation about your little one’s smile and any questions or concerns you may have about two-phase orthodontics. We will also take digital X-rays to get an in-depth look at your child’s bite and developing teeth. Let your child know it’s perfectly fine to ask any questions he or she has during this appointment — that’s what we’re here for!
Talk to Us Today!
If you have a seven year old, or if you’d like to get your older child started on their orthodontic treatment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Breckinridge Dental and Orthodontics. Request an appointment to discuss dental braces in Richardson today.