Starting orthodontic treatment early in your child’s life can make all the difference for their well-being. At Grand Dental – Lake Zurich, we encourage parents to schedule a Phase 1 orthodontic consultation before their child’s 7th birthday. Our in-house orthodontic specialist and team of highly trained experts will evaluate your child’s teeth and jaws in order to detect any developmental issues and form a plan to treat them as early as possible. If your child is about the right age for their orthodontic evaluation, please contact our office today.
By the age of 7, your child’s permanent teeth will have begun to erupt. However, they will also still have some baby teeth. This is the best time for an orthodontist to identify potential problems with how your child’s mouth is developing. Early detection and treatment of orthodontic issues is ideal since it is easier to make changes to the teeth and jaws while they are still growing. This is why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends children get their first orthodontic checkup by the time they are 7 years old. Beginning treatment early will mitigate serious issues in the future.
It’s essential to schedule a checkup with an orthodontic specialist because many early issues can only be identified by a highly trained professional. A general dentist or pediatric dentist may be able to recognize the need for orthodontic intervention during your child’s routine checkup as well. In addition, there are several symptoms parents can notice that may indicate orthodontic treatment is needed, such as:
Phase 1 treatment is specifically designed to guide the development of the teeth and jaws as your child grows. Each plan is personalized depending on the issue or issues that need to be addressed. Orthodontic appliances may be recommended, such as an expander to gradually widen your child’s upper jaw or palate to ensure there is enough room for all the adult teeth to erupt. If a baby tooth has been lost far easier than it should have been, a space maintainer may be needed to stop the neighboring teeth from drifting into the gap. In other cases, specialized braces may be worn for a short time.
Generally, Phase 1 treatment lasts between 10 and 14 months. However, the length of treatment will vary based on what changes need to be made. Once your child has completed Phase 1 treatment, we will continue to monitor their growth and development. If needed, Phase II orthodontics will start soon after all the permanent teeth have erupted, typically around the age of 11.