When to See an Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and a greater opportunity to prevent serious problems later in life. As teeth erupt, an orthodontist can evaluate tooth relationships and jaw growth that may indicate possible overbite, under bite, open bite, crossbite, etc. If detected early, these growth patterns may be intercepted and guided into correct alignment which will eliminate or simplify treatment later in life if needed.
Phase I Evaluation / Treatment
It’s best for Dr. Jen to see children by age 7 to advise if orthodontic treatment would be beneficial to dental growth and development during a Phase I / Phase II treatment approach or to wait until all permanent teeth are erupted. The first permanent incisors and molars have usually come in by age 7 and crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be evaluated. When treatment is initiated early (Phase I) , Dr. Jen can guide the growth of the jaws and insure proper spacing for future permanent teeth. Early treatment can also correct the width of the upper and lower dental arches, insure space for permanent teeth, correct crowding of the incisors, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify or eliminate the need for later treatment.
Phase II Treatment / Full Treatment
This part of your orthodontic journey will include all of your permanent teeth! This phase can last in duration from 1 to 3 years depending on amount of orthodontic correction needed. Dr Jen will follow your Oral Hygiene closely and expects your cooperation from time to time. Braces are fun but require some “work” as well. We strive on a “team approach”. Your braces will be removed only when - you love your smile, your parents are pleased with their investment and Dr. Jen has completed all treatment goals. We pride ourselves on knowing that you will have a smile to cherish for a lifetime!